Comics Review: Mumbai Confidential, Book One

Mumbai Confidential
Book One: Good Cop, Bad Cop
Written by Saurav Mohapatra
Illustrated by Vivek Shinde
Additional Art by Sid Kotian, Saumin Patel, Vinay Brahmania and Devaki Neogi
Design by Howling Monkey Studio
Edited by Rebecca Taylor
Production Manager Scott Newman
Introduction by Ron Marz
Archaia Entertainment
Release Date: May 8, 2013
Cover Price: $24.95

Mumbai Confidential begins at its climactic finale. Tough-as-nails Heroic-cop whose Fallen-from-grace, Arjun Kadam stares down the barrel of a gun. Flashback to when this case began a few weeks before when this case began. Flashback again to five years before that to when Kadams Fall began. Set in Mumbai, Indias most populated metropolis with a notorious criminal underworld, this is story that tattoos its hardboiled tropes on its sleeve.

Illustrator Vivek Shindes art lovingly evokes grim and ultra-serious pulp fiction. Every page, every panel looks like it should be on the cover of a trashy paperback found on a rickety wire rack 50 or 60 years ago. The color is so washed out that all you can see is the grit and grime on the page. Fans of David Fincher: this book is for you.

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Comic Review: I’m Not A Plastic Bag

I’m Not A Plastic Bag
Story and Art by Rachel Hope Allison
Forward by Jeff Corwin
Edited by Rebecca Taylor
Design by Fawn Lau
Archaia Entertainment
Release Date: May 8, 2012
Cover Price: $19.95

I’ve read comics with some pretty strange protagonists before, but this one was definitely a first. The main character of I’m Not A Plastic Bag is a large island made entirely of garbage, based on an actual place — specifically, the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a large spot in the Pacific Ocean which, due to currents, collects most oceanic debris. By debris I mostly mean trash that washes out to sea, water bottles, tires, plastic bags, etc., and by large I mean estimated to be twice the size of Texas. So, very, very large.

Writer and artist Rachel Hope Allison‘s book is an odd and pretty ballet. This large, unruly mass of trash (loosely resembling Aqua Teen Hunger Forces‘ Meatwad) tries desperately to interact with the beautiful oceanic landscape it exists in, only to destroy whatever it touches, meanwhile getting bigger and bigger. There are touches of the Frankenstein monster here, which I suspect is what Allison was coyly referring to in the title. It’s almost entirely wordless with beautiful colors that tastefully know when to incorporate photography and mixes crazy layouts with lovely splash pages.

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