Lion Forge/Magnetic Press 2018
Written by Raule
Illustrated by Roger
Translated by eremy Melloul
Previously in JAZZ MAYNARD...
With El Raval’s resident godfather Judas Melchiot behind bars, an uneasy peace sweeps over the streets. But that quiet hides a growing menace moving in to take over the criminal reigns. Teo finds himself in the talons of the leading contender for the title of crime lord, a scarred, earless monster known only as Caligula…
A thought struck me as I was reading this and it’s like Maynard G. Krebs and James Bond has some sort of love-child and named him Jazz. He really is fleshed out as a character in such a way that you instantly know who he is and what he’s about but underneath all that there’s still more to him than we’ll probably ever know. I like that he’s back in Barcelona with his family and that his Grandfather feels like he’s not done right by him. The opening here is exceptionally well written and in how it makes you feel about the relationship the men have and that Grandpa has a lot to be proud of if Jazz would ever open up and tell him the truth.
This book is structured so that we see the introduction of events as they are mean to unfold has that feel where you Raule is building something and leaves you wanting to know what that is. The Filipino, the whole set up of the myriad of characters that surround Jazz’s life are here and the flow is as natural as the winding of the Nile. I like the analogy of the Nile too because beneath it’s surface lie those in wait that will given the opportunity kill you without a second thought and that’s more like those Jazz is facing here himself.
Not only is the level of writing here exceptional it’s really the way that every single thing that we see here is essential to the storytelling. How Jazz is to grow, evolve and handle things either rightly or wrongly are what we need to see in order to understand his thoughts and actions. This is more like a television programme than it is a comic book in that regard or without the interiors a novella. That upon reading for like the third time that you can begin to see the method to his madness well that just shows you how many levels there are to this and how talented and skill Raule is.
Roger does the most incredibly amazing work on the interiors here. Not only am I impressed with the linework, the attention to detail and but the sheer fact that he understand the importance of how to utilise backgrounds. I wish his American counterparts would look at this and realise how damn good using them makes the story. The use of page layouts is strong and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels demonstrates one of the best eyes for storytelling I've ever seen. There is a flow to this that matches the writing, it’s intensity and pace beautifully.
Somehow or another the boys here have managed to make a story that is about Jazz, his life and his friends that mixes genres and ideas to where we just can’t get enough. Jazz wants a normal life but fate, his friends and his destiny seem to want more from him he’ll never escape the life he’s led and now whether he likes it or not there’s no turning back. Lines have been crossed and people are playing games with the lives of others without their knowledge.
A stellar character and beyond impressive writing and illustration show us why we need more European comics on stands in the United States.