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Hellcity: The Whole Damn Thing TP Paperback – August 24, 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
Bill Tankersley lives in hell--literally. Damned for killing himself after a serial killer gunned down his wife, Bill spends his days in Hellcity working in a bacon cookery and attending remorse sessions in which he relives his sins with a diabolical social worker. When a beautiful female demon from Lucifer's executive branch asks him to investigate the devil's mysterious disappearances and personality shifts, Bill refuses... until he learns he really doesn't have a choice. While in-fighting and coup plots ripple through Lucifer's cabinet, a human anarchist group is attacking police demons downtown, and somehow all this centers on Bill's wife, who runs an orphanage in Heaventown. A playful and smart homage to city life and Chandler-style noir, the story sometimes gropes for a focus; it's difficult to know who to root for. Flood's artwork is sleek and elegant when Bill meets the demon who will lead him into her world of politics and power, then ragged and bold when he fights for his life in the chaos of lower Hellcity. Blair's wry humor is just right for a story that depends on mythological and religious allusion for its power, yet cannot take itself completely seriously. Illus. (Aug.)
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Ex-detective Bill Tankersly has a new gig, as a cook at the Piggery. The Piggery isn’t a fancy restaurant with a funny name, though; it’s a hole-in-the-wall . . . in hell. (You really don’t want to know about the pigs.) The job and never-ending therapy sessions are his sentence for killing himself. But the long-legged—and bat-winged—Mary D’Metre wants Bill to shadow her supervisor. Lou, boss of Hellcity, has been drinking, showing up late, and reading poetry at press conferences. He just doesn’t seem evil anymore, and without his strong claw at the helm, hell seems ready to descend into chaos. Bill soon finds himself in the middle of a demonic mutiny, a human rebellion, and the devil’s surprising secret life. Fans of Hellcity, v.1 (2006), can finally read the rest of the story, which has languished in publishing limbo until now. Blair’s story is over the top yet dramatically satisfying, and Flood’s black-and-white drawings are boldly kinetic. Together, their vision of hell is sly and surprising—rarely have the tortures of the damned been so entertainingly evoked. --Keir Graff
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While I like that kind of story, I was hoping that this instance would have more depth and better art. It reads as though the writer hadn't read all the other instances and thus thought that this was a new concept.
I did like the "bad roommate" concept and I didn't get bored, so I rate this "Ok".
Bill is given the opportunity to change his fortunes when a beautiful demon comes to him with an offer he can't refuse. She wants to put his detective skills to use. He can get out of the piggery and get an apartment uptown without a demon roommate, and all he has to do is follow Lucifer himself in order to find out why the Lord of Hell has been acting so strangely as of late. Hell is on the verge of chaos as the demon underlings all want to be in line for Hell's throne.
Hellcity presents a clever twist on the infernal plane. Ironic in that it isn't so different than real life, sans the demons running around and pooping on the sidewalk. I loved writer Macon Blair's modern version of hell even more than the story. The story ends up being a bit of a clichéd detective story but it's the elements surrounding the story that lift it above the ordinary. The art by Joe Flood is solid but not flashy. Straight black & white line work. I loved the expressions on the faces of the demons while they went about their work annoying their human guests in various ways. I was somewhat let down by the fact that the story will be continued in vol. 2 but there's enough good stuff in here to make me want to see the conclusion.
Reviewed by Tim Janson
I've since checked out some of the other Gigantic titles and can highly recommend Teenagers From Mars and Dead West as well. As always it seems that the overlooked indie writers are doing some of the darkest, smartest and most compelling work, here's to hoping they get the attention they deserve.
pictures are in black and white - noir and hell, you cant do this in color, right?
this book was a very pleasant surprise for me and i highly recommend it to everybody who like the genres of noir and horror or just a good comics book.