Night Business

Benjamin Marra. Fantagraphics Books, $24.99 (240p) ISBN 978-1-68396-070-6
Strip clubs, bloodthirsty cults, and gangland violence collide in this lurid ode to 1980s excess. Johnny Timothy is machismo made flesh: brusque, muscular, and good with his fists. But when a slasher begins targeting exotic dancers, he finds himself pushed to his limit—and that’s before he starts popping aggression-enhancing pills and a vigilante in lingerie shows up. Though there is a garish charm to this tale, it does not amount to much more than a collection of clichés. Marra assembles his tropes, in all their blood-slicked glory, and leaves them stiff on the page. The women are lustful, the villains are effeminate or corrupt, the good guy seduces the former while splattering the latter. Marra’s shadowy, heavily hatched cartooning does lend the proceedings a certain underground grit, but the storytelling offers no meaningful subversion of the familiar genre. In paying homage to “greatest hits” of a bygone era, this colorful graphic novel pales in comparison. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/2018
Release date: 11/01/2017
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