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Grimjack Omnibus Paperback – March 23, 2010
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Now I have just finished the first volume of the Grimjack Omnibus Editions and I am definitely going to grab Volume 2. These stories still stand the test of time and are just as much fun today as they were back when people were dressing in neon dayglo parachute pants and spiking their hair up while blasting Duran Duran on their boombox in high school and being beaten up by my buddies the "Metal Heads" for it! If you like fast paced action, in your face sarcasm, and are a fan of Wolverine or the Punisher...give Grimjack a try. You'll see where a lot of the "newer" comic creators have gotten some of their inspiration.
Created by John Ostrander and Tim Truman, Grimjack follows the adventures of hardboiled mercenary John "Grimjack" Gaunt in the "pandimensional" city of Cynosure, a nexus where all the dimensions meet and mingle. Cynosure is pretty much the most wretched hive of scum and villainy in the galaxy, allowing Grimjack plenty of opportunities to make money or die trying.
Grimjack's most obvious comic-book antecedent is DC's Jonah Hex, another scar-faced bounty hunter with an occasional heart of gold when it comes to certain clients. John Gaunt's a lot more introspective than Hex, however, as his narration allows us to see -- indeed, the narration places Gaunt more in the tradition of hardboiled detectives than hardboiled mercenaries.
Cynosure itself allows Ostrander and Truman to play with a variety of genres, thanks to the overlapping dimensions, putting Gaunt into everything from a tribute to Sergio Leone Westerns to a world of funny animals threatened by an invasion of killer rabbits. It's a lot of fun, despite the fact that Truman -- already a solid draftsman and detailed renderer of the human form -- has always seemed to have an aversion to drawing human beings capable of smiling. So it goes.
The time when non-tie-in science-fiction comic books had a major presence at the comic-book store seems to have ended long ago; this is an enjoyable reminder of the decade when it seemed like the successful expansion of comic books into every mainstream genre was only a matter of time.
(Anyone who disagrees with me, I'll meet you at Munden's Bar to "discuss" our points of view. You buy the first round.)