Saturday, August 23, 2008

Nixon's Pals

If you ask me Joe Casey is, bar none, the best comic writer working over the last several years.  His work in Cable, Wildcats, Godland etc. is, for my tastes, a perfect blend of old-school superhero wackiness and more modern storytelling techniques.  On my most recent trip to the comic store I picked up his graphic novel, Nixon's Pals, based solely on an advertisement I saw in another comic, I knew nothing about the story and was basing my purchase only on Casey's name. I'm glad I did.  Nixon's Pals isn't treading any new territory for Casey, he had a sort of similar type concept in his series Codeflesh, but it sure is an entertaining idea.

Nixon is a supervillain parole officer and in this graphic novel we follow him around on his job as he tries to keep track of his special brand of lowlife.  Within the first few pages, to set the stage, we see Nixon visit one of his clients only to discover that he has built an inter-dimensional portal in his apartment which he has been using to violate parole.  

Casey's imagination is usually a stong point and this work is no exception, there are throw away characters in this book that many writers would base entire stories around (the radioactive restaurant owner for example) and Casey uses some of them for only a few panels.  The art work is solid, to me it looks like some of the better work out of Avatar comics artists like Jacen Burroughs.  The story isn't quite as good as the high-concept but it is definitely entertaining and I would like to see another story or two set in this world.

Casey continues to be, for me, really the only "can't miss" writer working in comics these days and as long as he keeps turing out entertaining, original stories like this I will continue to buy them based solely on his name on the cover.

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