To paraphrase a tagline from a popular wrestling show, War is Raw! In this book, there is nothing but rawness on show; the rawness of emotions, the rawness of lost friendships, the rawness of death.
Clandestino is up to his beard in trouble. You would think that after completing a death-defying rescue of his long-lost love he would be entitled to some down time. But no, life seldom gives back that which it takes away, instead it continues to take. So it comes to no-ones surprise, that the reunited lovers have more than a couple of issues to resolve, all the while the Dictator sets his sights on the pair.
Amancay Nahuelpan is the creator, writer, artist and letterer of this book, which fits in well with the other books in the Black Mask Studio books. It’s always difficult to look at a book from a single writer/artist, in that there is a natural tendency to look for the strongest attribute. Writing wise, the book is a terse affair with dialogue and a surprising monologue that would feel a natural fit in a Tarantino movie. With the plot, there are a lot of moving parts yet somehow very little surprises along the ways.
Nahuelpan’s art is equally dirty, in that it feels like the characters live in a dirty world, where things and people are used and equally discarded. The line work is edgy, yet at times Nahuelpan uses a smoother line in order to emphasise certain scenario’s. As there is no colorist listed, I am left to assume that they were provided by Nahuelpan. If that’s the case, then he is a man of many talents. With the amount of violence, along with the elements of sex on show, the book is aimed at a mature reader, so buyer beware.
I have to admit, I wasn’t really looking forward to reading this book, yet I was more than pleasantly surprised. Sure, some of the ideas in the book aren’t the newest, but somewhere along the line I found myself intrigued in Clandestino’s life. For fans of grimy, dirty violent stories that harbour more than a Tarantino edge, then go check it out and hopefully you will be as surprised as I was.
Writing – 3.5 Stars
Art – 4 Stars
Color – 5 Stars
By: Amancay Nahuelpan
Publisher: Black Mask Studios