Mario Villalobos

Pulp, Reckless, and Friend of the Devil

  • Notes

I didn’t really get into comics under after college. It was one of those things I always wanted to get into but for one reason or another (money, mostly), I didn’t get into as a kid. One of the first series I remember reading and loving was the first few volumes of Gotham Central by Ed Brubaker. It told the story of the police officers working in the Gotham Police Department in a world where Batman exists. It was amazing. I loved the noir aspects mixed with superheroes, and it kickstarted my love of Ed Brubaker.

I devoured his Captain America run, read through Incognito and Sleeper, and absolutely ravaged his Criminal series. Over the past year or two, Ed, along with his longtime collaborator Sean Phillips, has released original graphic novels outside of the monthly comic release cycle. These are full-length, 140 or so page stories that are simply incredible.

Over the last few days, I found myself with time to finally get through these stories. It started with Pulp, a magnificent and tragic story of a 1930s crime writer with not much life to live. I followed it with the first volume of his new Reckless series, Reckless, a noir novel set in the 80s that just reeks of 80s nostalgia and horror. And today I read through Friend of the Devil, the latest Reckless novel that takes the horror of cults and hippies to a new level.

Ed and Sean are two incredible artists that have created a world I absolutely love. These are stories I needed to read and experience. I’m continuously amazed at how art can pull me out of my own life and into a world I simply adore. It reminds me that I’m not alone, and I’ll always be grateful for that.