cover image Savage Town

Savage Town

Declan Shalvey, Philip Barret, and Jordie Bellaire. Image, $16.99 trade paper (152p) ISBN 978-1-53430-246-4

This riveting crime story written by Irish artist Shalvey (Injection) is set in Limerick, the city that houses much of Ireland’s criminal underworld. In Shalvey’s telling, it teems with working-class gangsters and thugs who are organized into territorial gangs. The story focuses on the day-to-day illegal doings of Jimmy “Hardy” Savage, the ambitious head of a minor gang operating in a city dominated by more high-profile criminal groups. Readers get to know Jimmy, his wife, his right-hand man, and several other characters whose paths intersect in a tapestry of murders, betrayals, family dysfunction, revenge, underhanded power plays, and big scores. Shalvey’s script rings true, replete with colorful characterizations, slang, and accents. The art from Barrett (Where’s Larry) strikes the perfect balance between cartoonish and gritty, breathing life into the profane and violent goings-on. While there is no one to root for among the gallery of hoodlums, the characters are irresistible. This is hopefully the first installment of an ongoing bounty of low-rent criminality. (Sept.)