Written by Howard Chaykin and David Tischman
Drawn by Rick Burchett
Published by DC/Vertigo
A few years ago Vertigo launched a V2K line, full of futuristic Vertigo-eque (READ: More adult) stories. I'm fairly certain this is the only one I've read. Chaykin and Tischman's names alone insures a modicum of talent, but I'm not familiar with Burchett's work at all ( a quick search turns up work on Blackhawk and Superman Adventures for DC).
The story is pretty basic, Vector Pope is a P.I., who's hired to investigate the disappearence of a girl. The deeper he gets into the case the more questions he unravels. If it immediately sound like Chinatown to you, well, congrats, you've seen Chinatown, apparently so have Chaykin and Tischman.
The characters are fantasticly unrealistic, there's a pretty good mystery going on and it all holds up pretty well, despite being pretty much a rip off. They've clearly thought out the world Pope travels in, from clones and androids to violent nuns and a church that's running just about everything, it's all very realized. They don;t wast time with intricate introductions, and the action begins on panel one, so they definitely get points for that.
Burchett's work here is very reminiscent of an artist like Darwynne Cooke, only not as refined. It fits in well with the space noir feel Tischman and Chaykin have created, but there's nothing overly gorgeous or spectacular about it, not that their should be either. It's smoothe and grim, and the man can draw an appealing figure to say the least.
If movies like Chinatown or The Big Sleep are your thing, Pulp Fantastic is definitely the comic for you. I'd have loved to see this as a regular series, but it's still a good read as is. If you see it lying around your local shop, definitely check it out, it's well worth it. Grade: A
A Day without a Mexican
What if all the Mexicans in California disappeared?
It's pretty good question, and this movie attempts to answer it in as many ways as possible. Other than that there's no real story behind the movie, just Califrnians living life (or trying to) without the Hispanic community to do all of its dirty work. Construction is all but crippled, schools get closed left and right for lack of educators, fruit and veggies become more expensove than gold, there's no one to harvest the crops.
It's not exactly hard hitting, and it's all wrapped up in some psuedo-funny, far fetched little sci-fi plot, but the message is still their. Anyone who's ever wondered just how valuable the Mexican community is to America should check this out. Grade: B-
Confessions of an American Girl
I love Jena Malone, so I bought this. Most of America will probably see it as some sort of farcical comedy, and it is, but for anyone who's ever grown up poor in the South, well, it's as true to life as walking out their front door. Jena plays Rena, local trailer park girl, complete with half-sister and gay (but in the closet) brother, she's preggers and has finally convinced the rest of the family to go and visit their father...in prison. So what should be family day in the prison park turns into emotional hell for everyone involved. Secrets come out, lives get torn apart, people get their asses kicked, and a gay man finds love...in a prison barbershop. It's a typical All-American story. Definitely worth checking out if you see it. Grade A-
Like Jena before her, I love Christina Ricci. I borrowed this one though, thank God. This is crap on top of crap...on top of more crap. It's a ridiculous werewolf film that brings nothing new to the table. Well, except that scene were the werewolf flips the camera off...after being teased by the two idiots hunting it. By teased I mean "That wolf is a sloppy dresser." If you're looking to laugh at a movie that's not trying to be funny (and manages to get Craig Kilborn and Scott Baio on board for dumb as hell cameos), then by all means, check it out, if not, well, avoid at all costs. Grade: D
This one I can recommed solely because it's a dumb horror movie with an idiotic premise. Aliens from space have come to Earth to find men to seed their race. Sex and killing abound as one kid tries frantically to save everyone around him. It's the goofiest movie I've seen all year and I loved it. This should be on MST3K (if it were still around...), then people would see how great it is. And by great I mean far beyond stupid. If you're into those old horror films like THEM!, Killer Klowns or Plan 9, this may be right up your alley. Grade: A+ (Okay, really it's like a D, but come on, it's so stupid it's brilliant!)