Wednesday, May 21, 2008

"I'm gonna kiss you on the mouth and blow chunks while I'm doing it."

That was a line uttered by one of the characters (Jessie) in Mike Carey and Jock's latest graphic novel, FAKER.

What a mindfuck that was.  Truly spectacular work from both contributors.  Honestly, I've loved Jock since I first saw his work on The Losers a few years ago.  But Mike Carey has always been one of those hit and miss guys with me.  I'd check out his work from time to time (all his Hellblazer work, some Lucifer, My Faith in Frankie, etc), and not really get into some of it (particularly his superhero stuff).  But he's shown me some real writing prowess with Faker (and his slightly less recent RE-GIFTERS).  He's shown he can write some angsty scifi psychological horror thrillers involving teen drama and activism.  Which, when I really look into the core of what comics interest me, is exactly what I'm looking for.  Please pardon the abundance of grammatical issues in that last sentence.

The story involves four characters who live together in a house at some insignificant college in the American midwest.  It's just after Christmas break and the students are slowly shuffling back into their college lifestyles and coming back from home (and their parents).  Obviously the first night back is going to be some kick-ass party.  Four go in to the party, five come out.  One of them's not real/alive, but who?  And just what the fuck happened?

Mike Carey does an excellent job of dealing with perpetual issues of identity and teenage rebellion, while concocting an emotionally resonant story involving four very different young adults.  I can't lie to you, there are certainly aspects of this story, especially the characters of Jessie Kidby and Yvonne Latimer, that appeal to the faux artistic, teenage rebel still inside me.

I really really liked this new offering from Carey and Jock (and quite frankly, surprised the hell out of me), and should be on the bookshelves of anyone interested in liquid digital technology, geek culture, suicide prevention, the bisexual community, sexual revolution, social activism, questioning authority, lying as a way of life, backstabbing, hacking, extortionism, hustling, friendship and well... just a goddamn kick-ass four-color world of adventures and shenanigans.

I could not turn the page fast enough.  Highly recommended.

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