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King City Paperback – March 22, 2012

45 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


Although the first half of this hilarious, touching romp was published a few years ago, the rest of the story has lingered in a rights limbo until now. Set in a lushly detailed city of the far future, catmaster Joe, assisted by his marvelously mutable dru

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 424 pages
  • Publisher: Image Comics (March 22, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 160706510X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1607065104
  • Product Dimensions: 10.2 x 7.4 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #377,596 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By J. Khalaj on April 6, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I purchased this graphic novel on a whim, knowing nothing about the premise or author. This was one of the most pleasant surprises I've had in a while. I can't say this story will please everyone, but there's a certain degree of charm in the sheer quirkiness.

The world Brandon Graham creates is so wholly unique and the "powers" of the main protagonists so odd that you can't help but turn the page just to see what the heck is going to happen. I admit a certain reservation as I started reading. It takes a little while to readjust your suspension of disbelief past the normal level one approaches comics with. However, once the world captures you, you just want to learn more about it. What are the laws? What are the rules? What the hell is everyone doing?

The humor is at times subtle, and often very direct but not in a "here's the joke you laugh now" way. Graham presents weird and awkward situations with panache. A scene early on in the graphic novel has the main character using a cat as a periscope with the eye hole being the, umm, cats bum... Normally I find sophomoric attempts like this stale at best, and plain stupid. But there's something about the presentation, the drawings, the situation leading up, the world itself where I couldn't help but laugh.

Graham has created something simultaneously new, irreverent, and intriguing.

The ending of King City felt a little too open ended, but it left me wanting more, and that as far as I'm concerned is a sign of a good tale.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By E. Herz on April 3, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There is a marvelous, dirty, magical, extremely dangerous city in fiction and it lives in the mind of Brandon Graham. King City in not just a comic book, it is a conglomeration of genre, story, theme and art nicely bound up and selling at the low price of $19.99. In case you could not tell, I really enjoyed this book.

At it's heart King City is a story about Joe, the Catmaster and his friends, Pete and Anna. Joe has recently returned to King City after journeys 'down south' and now needs to figure out where he fits into the place he had spent his youth. In the process he gets involved in a gang of human/owl hybrids, fights an avatar of the elder gods, laments over his ex, ogles every nice ass that passes in front of his eyes and adventures with his fellow 'catmasters.' There is an arc of fighting the ultimate evil and battling addiction of a drug that literal consumes ones body, but these aren't really important. The book really about the characters, letting you glimpse at three unique lives and their interrelationship.

At the heart of the book there are the beautiful lines of Mr. Graham. He has a style that while reminiscent of manga stays uniquely his own. His characters express a wide range of emotion, every page is packed with detailed backgrounds and for the careful reader there is sometimes more text in the background than in the world bubbles. He forces the reader to study each page ensuring you are maximizing your experience. Each panel that Mr. Graham draws is a story unto itself.

You find yourself wanting to know as much as you can about the crazy buildings and lumbering background characters. There are just glimpses of Echhhh Zu: Baby Eater of Shadowtown with its lair of white gold baby souls or corn cult looking to rule the world.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Drewford on March 19, 2013
Format: Paperback
After I read everything by artist/author James Stokoe, my local comics shop guy recommended I also check out Brandon Graham. I have most if not all of his other work, including Prophet Vol 1 (which I loved), Escalator (a collection of short stories) and a couple ofthers.

I really enjoy his graffiti-inspired style and meticulous attention to detail. King City is like taking one of Graham's typical shorter stories and just multiplying it by 10. You get ten times the great art and a longer story line, but you also get 10 times the puns and one-liners, which just started to annoy me about half way through. I thought the concept and story had so much potential but the plot felt poorly developed to me. There were a handful of disjointed "major events" interspersed through a backdrop of the character backgrounds, small time jobs, and just random hanging out. The setting of King City was awesome, and I loved how there was a mix of all different possible inhabitants from humans, to aliens, to mutants, animals and everything in between.

Overall I thought the book was above average and as usual I got a kick out of Graham's artwork. The setting was great, and there was good character development. But with the constant puns and lack of an engaging plot, I found this book difficult to read at times.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Seth DeHaan on April 10, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I picked up King City on a lark. 10 bucks for ~400 pages? Done. After reading, I immediately subbed to Brandon Graham's on-going (Prophet @ Image) and will eagerly await more Multiple Warheads, which he's currently working on. I do this because Graham promises to deliver the thoroughly and unapologetically weird.

His world-building in King City reminds me of China Mieville's constructions in books like The Scar and Perdido Street Station. Around each corner is something new and fantastic and probably horrifying too. Where Mieville leans toward the weighty, the eldritch, Graham's world is irreverent and bursting with stupid, hilarious puns, and all this is richer because we actually get to see it. His lines are clean and intricate in the service of a hyper-detailed world, and his characters get the same level of attention.

The Catmaster Joe and his friends get a deep look over the course of the book's stories, individual motivations rarely entirely parallel but crisscrossing instead. Don't read King City hoping for a revelatory, world-shattering conclusion: Graham snips the story to a strange, nonchalant close as casually as he introduces ancient gods and cults and then tosses them into the background.

Pick this book up for a refreshing dose of the weird that takes the piss out of all the bland crap in mainstream comics right now. And check out Graham's blog at for more once you're hooked.
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