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Filthy Rich (Vertigo Crime) Hardcover – August 25, 2009
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From School Library Journal
Grade 10 Up–Richard Junkin is a former pro-football player turned used-car salesman after blowing out his knee during a key play. Unfortunately, he is too honest to be a good salesman and consistently loses customers. His boss offers him a new opportunity: to be his daughter's personal bodyguard. Caring only for the New York club scene and making headlines to embarrass her father, Victoria doesn't make Junk's new job easy. It doesn't take him long to fall hard for her, and she takes full advantage of his good nature. The story takes a dark turn when Junk catches a man attempting to rape Victoria and kills him. The two get ensnared in a delicate web of violence and intrigue as they try to keep the murder a secret. Azzarello has created an authentic noir world in which the characters are not only out for themselves, but also out to get everyone else. Santos's black-and-white artwork mixes a simplified but realistic look with the heavy shadows reminiscent of Frank Miller's work, creating a gritty, dangerous feel throughout. Fans of hard-edged crime fiction along the lines of George Pelecanos and Joseph Finder will find the territory familiar but still thrilling as Junk learns that the only way he can survive in this heartless world is by becoming more cutthroat and manipulative than anyone else. Violence, drug and alcohol use, and graphic portrayal of sexual situations make this a title for mature readers.–Matthew L. Moffett, Pohick Regional Library, Burke, VA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
"With Filthy Rich, crime fans will get their money's worth." - Maxim" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
The story begins with a promising opening act where our antihero, Rich Junkin, sees the opportunity to rise above his station of used car salesman by protecting his boss's daughter , and tabloid fodder, Vicky for money, while Vicky sees the opportunity to sucker Junk into doing her dirty work, which may extend to murder.
What follows is a dull narrative of Junk interacting with one dimensional rich kids, tabloid journalists and starlets with nothing much going on to sustain the readers interest.
I understand what Mr. Azzarello was trying to do here. He attempts successfully to evoke the feel of the crime novels of the 1950's and 60's, but the story reads like 50's paperback which was published as a first draft, unpolished and unrefined, where as it should be lean and terse.
The inappropriately cartoony artwork which hides behind Lee Beremejo's evocative cover does not help matters either. DC Comics would be wise to adopt a policy where if they feel an art style is not appropriate for the cover, then perhaps it is not appropriate for the interior of the book either.
DC Vertigo was wise to release this book simultaneously with Dark Entries, which is a much more entertaining read, and which I would encourage people to check out first, as out of the three hardcover released so far, Filthy Rich is the weakest.
Through night after night and party after party among New York's high society, Junk keeps his eye on Vicki until it's caught by actress Sally Petri and goes a-wandering. And so does Vicki. When Junk realizes he's lost his charge, he goes looking for Vicki and interrupts a private bout of reefer madness and attempted rape. Junk retaliates against Vicki's attacker, "and when he stopped breathing, I started to again." And now there's a murder to cover up. And maybe a couple more to be committed.
Perhaps it's overly familiar, but there's nothing really wrong with "Filthy Rich" as a story. It's a throwback to seminal back-pocket tough guy reads such as "The Hot Spot." I have many a stack of vintage Gold Medal paperbacks at home, and although the sex and language have become more explicit, "Filthy Rich" could slip comfortably in with those hardboiled titles of the '50s. Brian Azzarello has been staking out his territory in noir and crime fiction for years, and by now, he sees perfectly in the shadows and rarely misses a step. But Azzarello has been abetted in past projects by stellar art from Eduardo Risso, Lee Bermejo and Richard Corben. "Filthy Rich" artist Victor Santos is not ready to take a seat alongside those talents.
DC's Vertigo imprint has been going out of its way to commission substandard art (R.M. Guera and Jock over at "Scalped" being much appreciated exceptions), as if ugliness in some way equates to hipster, underground cred. Santos imitates -- badly -- the chiaroscuro of Frank Miller's "Sin City" and the retro character designs of Darwyn Cooke. His guys n' dolls have squat little monkey bodies with swollen balloon heads. His art is bad enough to distract and detract from Azzarello's otherwise fine story. There's a panel on Page 14 in which a character appears to have four hands. I've stared at it and stared at it and stared at it, but damned if I can figure out where those hands are coming from or to whom they're attached. And for someone who apparently loves drawing hands so much, Santos doesn't seem to have studied them much in real-life. These are some of the strangest, most warped appendages I've ever seen.
Lee Bermejo did nice work on the cover of "Filthy Rich." It's a shame he didn't do the interiors as well. With skillful art and a few more story touch-ups, Azzarello might have had another winner -- maybe even a minor crime classic -- to go on his shelf. Instead, a decent script was terminally sabotaged by eyesore visuals. It's hard to read when you keep wincing.
Most recent customer reviews
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