I must admit that I’m usually drawn to oddities. Sometimes it can be pretty deadly, and quite often it leads you to find treasures. Going to the comic book store is like entering the cave of wonders. I usually spend hours taking a look at comics in the hopes of finding something new. This weekend, my geek haul was great: Gweenpool, Vote Loki, a Star Wars Tsum Tsum, a Funko Pop and Pretty Deadly.
In the haul you’ll see a creepy cover belonging to Pretty Deadly, a new type of comic. This is an odd trade that caught my eye when exploring all corners of the local comic book store. I was unable to point its genre nor the type of artwork. Is it a fantasy tale? A Western? Manga? What the hell is this? After much thought, I decided that I would define it as an American Spaghetti Manga. However, I fear this definition comes pretty short. It’s a story that mixes fantasy elements with Western elements. The artwork is a mix of European comics and Japanese manga. And, to make things even more odd and interesting, the story does not follow the three-act structure that most modern comics do. I must say that Kelly Sue DeConnick and Emma Ríos have bravely created a new compelling style for us to enjoy.
Pretty Deadly tells us a story that unfolds in the Far West. It has elements of fantasy and magic, love, and drama, gore, and ghosts. But above all, it tells a compelling folklore tale that will haunt you in making you think: what is death? Can death be pretty? As you keep on reading its pages, and get as frightened and allured by the artwork and the story, you discover that, indeed, Death can be Pretty Deadly. I won’t spoil it for you since this is an amazing trade, but I will tell you this: if you start reading it, you won’t be able to put it down till you finish it. And once you’ve done it, you’ll be wanting for more. You will become Death in love with a Beauty, and you will not want to let it go!
Every single page is an art masterpiece. I was caught in it in trying to define the style. As I said, it looks like a mixture between European comics and Manga. But if we’re to take a look at the story, we can see elements of American folklore. This combination makes of it both an oddity and a jewel.
The script flows like a river, and it brings you to strange shores. It’s fast, thrilling, dramatic and spooky at times. And even if you want to pull your eyes out from the page in some panels, you keep on staring and reading because this comic book is as pretty as it is deadly.
To miss Pretty Deadly is to miss a brave new concept of comics. Please note that this comic book is definitely not for kids, but for an adult audience. The cover is pretty explicit, but you’ll find more compelling (and beautiful) pages in it. Give it a try!
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