Monday, May 21, 2018

Red Range

I've been a huge fan of basically everyone involved in this project for years, so when I got the chance to receive a review copy, I jumped unhesitatingly at the chance.

Red Range is a reprint/reformatting/re-release of an original graphic novel from 1999.  Combining completely over the top violence, horror, camp and humour, it explores (explodes) racism and societal violence.  If the new cover weren't enough warning, this is not for the faint of heart.  In the introduction, Richard Klaw talks about his shock and disgust reading the work for the first time.  He describes his reaction as visceral, and I think that's a very apt word choice.  I literally recoiled reading the first page.  I have absolutely no doubt that that was the author's and artist's intention.

The intro and afterword are well written and historically interesting.  The main body of the work is also well done, but very difficult to read in places. It is shocking and graphic and ugly.

The narrative pace is unrelenting and fast.  There were places when I read something and thought 'Wait, what?!'.  The last quarter of the book is weirdly violent or possibly violently weird.  I could definitely see this as a pilot issue for a series.  I would pay good money to read it. :)  I've dinged a half a star for the fact that it just sputters to a halt at the 'end'. 

Emphatically not for the squeamish or easily offended.  The book is every kind of violent there is (including implied bestiality, sexual and racial violence, etc etc).

Available in hardcover, electronic, and paperback formats, published by IDW Publishing and released 20 June, 2017.

Four and a half stars for what it is.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

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