Comic Review: Pulp (Image Comics)

From the creators of Criminals and My Heroes Have Always Been Junkies comes a brand new original graphic novel entitled Pulp. It’s published by Image. Max Winters has lived a […]

From the creators of Criminals and My Heroes Have Always Been Junkies comes a brand new original graphic novel entitled Pulp. It’s published by Image.

Max Winters has lived a long life. In 1939 in New York City, he’s writing pulp stories about outlaws in the Old West. But things aren’t always rosy for the Red River Kid, and times have gotten tough for a grizzled old writer too. Sales are down, profits are down, and the editor and publisher can’t be trusted. Looks like the writer will be out of work shortly, and broke. Plus, the current climate in the US is changing with the outbreak of World War II. Pro-Nazi sentiment is getting an audience in New York, gaining a foothold. Max is full of five-cent words for the pulp fiction, but will he be able to revisit his rough and tumble past, and swing his way to surviving into the 1940s?

Writer Ed Brubaker, no stranger to writing about tortured souls heading for trouble, knocks this one out of the park and into the next parking lot. The mix of story settings between the fictional/yet real Old West, the current challenges of 1940, and the persistent occurrence of violence all mix and mingle like a flock of seagulls, a swarm of hornets. As in a lot of Brubaker’s work, the characters face tough decisions and are quickly taught ‘lessons’ when they stray out of line. Nobody gets a free ride, Scott-free. The dialogue is 1940s, and the old west scenes ring true as the day they were written in pulps.

Jacob Phillips on art and Sean Phillips combine forces like the well-maintained team they are. The snowy New York City surroundings contrast so dramatically with the sun-drenched West. The differences enhance Max Winters’ story, his trials, and tribulations, his ups and downs.

Poignant, engaging. Professionally executed. Highly recommended.

Pulp, Image Comics, $16.99 US, 80 pages of comic content. Crime / Western `Mature

Alan Spinney

About Alan Spinney

After a career of graphic design, art direction and copywriting, I still have a passion for words and pictures. I love it when a comic book comes together; the story is tight, and the drawings lead me forward. Art with words... the toughest storytelling technique to get right. Was this comic book worth your money? Let's see!!