Comic Review: The Grot: The Story of the Swamp City Grifters (IDW Publishing/Top Shelf Productions)

It’s grimy, it’s filthy. It smells, it’s rancid. Oh, it’s from IDW/Top Shelf, and the graphic novel is entitled The Grot: The Story of the Swamp City Grifters. The Story […]

It’s grimy, it’s filthy. It smells, it’s rancid. Oh, it’s from IDW/Top Shelf, and the graphic novel is entitled The Grot: The Story of the Swamp City Grifters.

The Story Of The Swamp City Grifters is about migration. Head north in this barren wasteland of civilization, passing the burnt-out houses and desolation. Pass the busted wagons heading south, covered in dried muck. Head north to seek your fortune: green algae, worth millions of dollars can be found there. Or heartache, and misery instead.

Such is the compelling Grot tale told by writer Pat Grant, from New South Wales. Pat writes and draws this epic, the tale of the mom and two sons who travel north, to seek their fortunes. The writing is superb: dense, witty, sly, rude, and obnoxious. The fumes in these scenes would knock a buzzard off a poop wagon, as the saying goes. The noxious gases of Falter City, way up north. Where you’re likely to get robbed, rolled, ransacked and robbed again. Rooms for rent, five hundred fifty bucks.

The drawings are crude by ‘ultra-realism’ standards, they’re expressive line drawings, full of details. And Fionn McCabe’s colouring is not ultra-shiny either. But between the two of them, these guys write, draw and throw muddy colour all over the place, and conjure up a totally compelling tale. It’s full of twists, turns, turds turns of phrase, and lots of utterly fantastic imagineering. The sights, the inventions, the make-believe streets with no name, and no hope. The shuttered rotten beat-up vehicles, ridden like bicycles. The half-destroyed transport ship that brings our family north, full of hope.

It’s a strongly written saga, this one, full of sleight of hand. It’s the con-within-the-con, but is it a pro-con, or is the conner being fooled too?
Wonderful read, highly recommended, and highly funky. I sincerely can’t wait for Book Two!

IDW Top Shelf, The Grot, Book One $19.99 for 204 pages of content. 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!!