Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Happy Will Eisner Week, Day 3: Sexcastle

Will Eisner Week is rolling along to day 3, where I am reviewing a graphic novel funded in part by Kickstarter, a new-fangled, crowd-sourced method of gathering money to bring a project to fruition.
Sexcastle is a hilarious parody/satire/homage/tribute to 1980s action movies. It's main character is Shane Sexcastle, formerly the world's most dangerous assassin. He looks a lot like Snake Plissken, and the story begins when he is released from prison. Well, actually, the story starts here:
Which gives you a sense of the timing and humor in this book. Anyhow, once Shane is a free man, he decides he wants a quiet life as a florist. Things are going well until one day the local muscle comes by the shop looking for "insurance money."
My favorite line in the whole book.
Needless to say, Shane makes short work of the goons, but the local crime boss decides to sic the team of assassins Shane used to head on him.
If you watched any movies from the 1980s at all, you recognize most of these faces.
So the rest of the book is basically the same plot as Road House, only with way more jokes and way less of Patrick Swayze's abs. There is a whole lot of mindless violence in this book, but it is also played mostly for laughs, and there are a few scenes that are surprisingly heartfelt. I am super impressed by how fun and raucous this book was. I would also say impressed, but Kyle Starks' last book The Legend of Ricky Thunder is one of my all time favorites. After my experiences with all of his books and mini-comics, I am pretty much set to buy anything he creates sight unseen. The man is a masterful entertainer, humorist, and comics maker.

All of the reviews I have read about this book have been extremely positive. Rich Barrett wrote, "This is a laugh-out-loud comic from a real rising talent." Kyle Overkill added that it "provides a lush experience whether it be the humor, the action, plot, characters or a man befriending a polar bear." Matthew Meylikhov lauded, "It’s fun, it’s incredibly funny and it has a surprising amount of heart at the center of it." And if you are interested, Starks speaks more about his work on Sexcastle in this interview.

Sexcastle is published by Image Comics. There are profane language and violence throughout, so I recommend this book to readers mature enough to handle both.

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