Image Comics Review: Pulp
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Ed Brubaker
Artist: Sean Phillips
Colors: Jacob Phillips
Reviewer: Tony Farina
Max Winters, a pulp writer in 1930s New York, finds himself drawn into a story not unlike the tales he churns out at five cents a word-tales of a Wild West outlaw dispensing justice with a six-gun. But will Max be able to do the same when pursued by bank robbers, Nazi spies, and enemies from his past?
One part thriller, one part meditation on a life of violence, PULP is unlike anything award-winning BRUBAKER & PHILLIPS have ever done before. This celebration of pulp fiction set in a world on the brink is another must-have hardcover from one of comics’ most acclaimed teams.
I am going to start in reverse here. Jacob Phillips colors and or lack of colors tell a story in and of themselves. I don’t want to give too much away here, but I just want to put that nugget in your head. So. Damn. Good.
Next up: Sean Phillips. You get it. You know. Genius is just a word and I know it get bandied about, but seriously Sean Phillips borders on it. This story is layered. It has nuance. There is pain and there is joy. Phillips puts it all on the face of our main character. Of course, there are the fictional characters he creates and there too, we know what is going on in all their heads without Brubaker’s brilliant words.
Finally, there is the story by Brubaker himself. I absolutely refuse to give away the ending of this book, but I will say this. It is a short book. Give yourself time to read it in one sitting. If you don’t set the time aside, you are going to be late for whatever you were planning on doing. Brubaker wants us to see the grey. He knows that is where humanities lies and in this simple, heartbreaking, gut punch of a story he dabbles in the grey. Is Max a hero? Is Max a villain? I’ve read this several times and I am still not sure.
One could argue that Pulp is too short. I don’t make that argument. Still, some may.
Pulp is just what you expect from Brubaker and Phillips. Tight storytelling, incredible images and an ending that will take your breath away. Get this book. If you passed on the hard cover, now is your time. Seriously. Now. I mean. Stop reading this and go get it.