Reviewed by David Brzeski
This trade paperback collects the first five issues of the digital comic book.
Max Murray is a classic private dick. Trenchcoat, hat, gun, bad attitude: the works. He works the meanest streets imaginable—Misery City. Misery City isn’t so much going to Hell, as it is a suburb of Hell. It’s a sprawling, surreal metropolis that would give the darkest denizens of Gotham City nightmares. Somehow the citizens of Misery City remain unaware when things like a gigantic skeleton, with a still beating heart, rises up through the ground. Max is up to the job, though. He’s not exactly normal himself, as is evidenced when he crawls out of a hole made when the demon flattened him, cartoon manner, and puts it down.
In the course of the five issues reprinted here, he investigates the boyfriend of the girl he loves, gets the girl, takes on an evil scientist, loses the girl… then it all gets even stranger.
We think we’re reading one of the more outré examples of the occult detective genre right up until the very end, when we discover that Max Murray is actually… Well, there were hints earlier on, but very subtle ones. I hate spoilers, so I’ll simply say that it’s well worth reading.
Vassilis Gogtzilas’ superb artwork is truly astonishing. Sepia-toned, for the most part, it varies from finely detailed to a nightmarish cartoon style that reminded me of some of the colour work of David Mack, crossed with the Beatles animated film, ‘Yellow Submarine’.
This really is an excellent piece of work.