Street Cop

Robert Coover and Art Spiegelman. isolarii, $20 trade paper (112p) ISBN 978-1-73507-503-7
In this riotous futuristic genre mash-up from Coover (The Public Burning) and cartooning great Spiegelman (Maus), a nameless ex-detective and ex-addict gets a shot at redemption as a wizened street cop. The rare human in a profession filled with nightstick-happy robots, he narrates the episodic action in a hardboiled voice that Coover leavens with a perfect measure of deadpan (“Arrest by robots: the disrespect that murderers now have to live with. Homicide used to be such a big deal”). The detective bounds from one surreal encounter to another (including with sarcastic talking flying cars and a store that sells zombies as pets) while carrying on a half-baked infatuation with his digital assistant, Electra. Like an Italo Calvino fable for the 21st century, the shifting cityscape’s technological wonders and horrors range from killer drones to 3D-printed buildings. The semi-comedic flatness recalls Jonathan Lethem and Paul Auster, as with a scene in which the narrator is nearly crushed in a building “suddenly rolled up like a carpet.” Interstitial full-page drawings by Spiegelman bang out a cacophony of early 20th-century newspaper strip icons (Dagwood, Annie, Betty Boop, his beloved Ignatz) jammed into comix-style debauchery. While the humor of world-weary disaffection may keep some readers at a distance, others will thrill at the discordant chaos. (June)
Reviewed on : 05/13/2021
Genre: Comics
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