Farel Dalrymple, Illustrator, Farel Dalrymple, Author . Dark Horse $13.95 (136p) ISBN 978-1-56971-934-3

Collecting the first five issues of Dalrymple's acclaimed comic book series Pop Gun War , this book provides a capsule look at Dalrymple's vision of urban fantasy. Set in New York, his stories follow characters with wings, talking fish, giants, dwarves and other fantastical acquaintances and ideas. At the center of it all is a boy named Sinclair, who acquires a set of wings when a tattooed, disgruntled angel pays to have them cut off. Sinclair, a lonely kid prone to bowties and being teased, sets off on a series of encounters across the city. His older sister, a singer in a rock band, is an inspiration and worry; a homeless man of unknown powers and origins joins him; and a band of youths pursue him. Dalrymple renders this gang of eccentrics and mystics in a loose but realistic pen and ink style—highly dynamic and tailor-made for depicting New York's teeming city streets. He has a flair for the dramatic as well—scenes of Sinclair flying, or of a giant walking the streets, are genuinely affecting, while seeming completely natural—and brings to life a subtle kind of cartoon surrealism. The story meanders a bit, and it's not always clear where it's headed, but the fun of Pop Gun War is in its vivid characters and details. It is a fine debut, reminiscent of DC Comics's Vertigo line, with which it should sit comfortably on bookstores'—and adventurous readers'—shelves. (2003)

Reviewed on: 11/10/2003
Release date: 07/01/2003
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 144 pages - 978-1-63215-773-7
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