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Dean Haspiel

History

7th June 2018

10:22am: Charles Hatfield reviews THE RED HOOK
"Try curling up with this in a bathtub for an hour. I did, and it did wonders for me.

The Red Hook is close to the pure Haspiel, combining the slaphappy yet traditional heroics of The Fox with the soulful urbanism of Dino’s autobio comix (Beef with Tomato, Opposable Thumbs, etc.) and the surreal romance, dizzying patter, and sheer loving lunacy of his Billy Dogma series. More plot-driven than Billy, it is still much freer than, say, his Marvel or DC workouts. Sexier and crazier than The Fox, it is still a more straightforward read than Billy. The result has some gravity, some plot a la mainstream serials, but is still a pinballing comics lark. Frankly, the plot takes a back seat to Haspiel’s cartooning, which fizzes madly here, released.

This is part of a shared universe called New Brooklyn that promises further weirdness from several artists and writers—but, again, it’s not plot-rigging that charms here, but the electric drawing, gusty inventiveness, and sheer personal quirkiness of it all. For supercharged cartooning with a rugged brush line, for divine patter and head-snapping verbal gymnastics, and above all for the sheer joy of saying to hell with realism in favor of the joys of comics—well, seek no further."

--Charles Hatfield, author of Alternative Comics - an emerging literature, Hand Of Fire - the comics art of Jack Kirby, and The Superhero Reader

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