12-Gauge Productions/Image Comics 2017
Written by Doug Wagner
Illustrated by Daniel Hillyard
Coloured by Laura Martin
Lettered by Ed Dukeshire
Retired serial killer Edwyn Stoffgruppen is in love with Virginia, a girl he met online. Her affection quiets his vile urges. Together, they tour the back roads of America in their LTD, eating doughnuts and enjoying their healthy appetites for each other. Life is good until a Louisiana billionaire kidnaps Virginia, forcing Edwyn to kill again in exchange for her freedom.
Alright i’d like to shake the hand of the person responsible for this book but then again i’d be slightly afraid to touch that hand, who knows where it’s been after all. I will say this much if you haven’t already DO NOT look this up just go out and purchase it and read the damn thing. It’s kind of brilliant in this twisted, surreal and demented kind of way. There are a few inconsistencies in the official description, above, and what I saw in the book so if Victor is Edwyn then okay and the backstory there is slightly different but with the same intended result.
So Victor, or Edwyn, is a very unstable individual but he and Virginia certainly seem to have a very healthy and active sex life. I’m going to say this and I mean it, Thank You for keeping the action inside the car and away from view. It’s classier and when the big reveal happens much more shocking to see. Also it’s just refreshing that we don’t have to see nudity of any kind here as the story is strong enough on it’s own and the mystery fabulous to carry it.
When we finally get to see what kind of man Victor is I have to admit i’m a tad shocked. Who knew this tepid individual would be such a complete and utterly mentally unstable badass!?! What he does to those boys outside the gas station on that back country road well “hello and how do ya do?” that was pretty spectacular stuff. So is what happens later on as he’s trying to determine a way out of his current situation.
The introduction of Thaddeus Belliveau also does not go as i’d have imagined and the circumstances of their meeting is extremely well done. I’m such a fan already of how this story is structured and how we meet the characters involved in this little drama. The characterisation is spectacularly written and portrayed for us to see. The whole idea behind this while silly and out there becomes the kind of plot that actually becomes thought of as the game changer.
I’m liking the interior artwork as well. The attention to detail here is superb to see and the way that backgrounds are utilised to enhance the scenes and the story is perfectly done. The use of page layouts through their angles and perspective are handled extremely well. The faces and facial expressions continue to flesh the characterisation nicely. Plus the sheer difference in how Victor and Thaddeus come across is incredible.
This took me by surprise with its wit, charm and utterly fascinating storytelling. You’ll shake your head in wonder and that you won’t be able to make up your mind on what you think will tell you all you need to know.