King City Epub Þ Paperback

King City Epub Þ Paperback

King City ➿ [Download] ➽ King City By Brandon Graham ➵ – Capitalsoftworks.co.uk Joe is a catmaster, trained to use his cat as any tool or weapon His best friend, Pete, falls in love with an alien he s forced to sell into green slavery, while his ex, Anna, watches her Xombie War v Joe is a catmaster, trained to use his cat as any tool or weapon His best friend, Pete, falls in love with an alien he s forced to sell into green slavery, while his ex, Anna, watches her Xombie War veteran boyfriend turn into the drug he s addicted to King City, an underbelly of a town run by spy gangs and dark dark magic with mystery down every alleyway.


10 thoughts on “King City

  1. Ken-ichi Ken-ichi says:

    Part of the magic of comics well, independent comics is that in some ways they areimmediately personal than prose The labor put into creating them isobvious, as are the many quirks of the artist It s like conversing with a stranger who isn t treating you like a stranger, who assumes a level of intimacy that you may not share When it works, it s magic When it doesn t work, man, it s awkward.Sadly King City landed in the latter camp for me Graham clearly put a lot of himself and Part of the magic of comics well, independent comics is that in some ways they areimmediately personal than prose The labor put into creating them isobvious, as are the many quirks of the artist It s like conversing with a stranger who isn t treating you like a stranger, who assumes a level of intimacy that you may not share When it works, it s magic When it doesn t work, man, it s awkward.Sadly King City landed in the latter camp for me Graham clearly put a lot of himself and his love of comics into the visual style, the city, and the endless puns, but a lot of the book s potential went unrealized In a book about a totally zany scifi fantasy city where anything can happen and everything IS happening, there was a ton of empty space In worlds like this I feel like a Hieronymus Bosch Geoff Darrow Where s Waldo approach would better convey the mad claustrophobia, and not the manga style minimalism Graham employs There was also no plot, or character development, which can be ok if there are other things to explore in a book, but the novelty of a cat that can be used as a weapon wears off pretty quickly I think my favorite part of the book was his innovating cussing, fuck a shit sandwich being one of my favorites


  2. Seth T. Seth T. says:

    I ve written before about expectations and how they cheat us of our reading experiences Whether a positive or negative bias, these prejudices do unquestionable damage to the natural formation of opinion A strong positive predisposition toward a book can push us to massage problems in a work to reflect our existing good will toward it or, if the work too abruptly veers from our expectations, those expectations can lead to a sense of betrayal that wouldn t otherwise come about A negative feelin I ve written before about expectations and how they cheat us of our reading experiences Whether a positive or negative bias, these prejudices do unquestionable damage to the natural formation of opinion A strong positive predisposition toward a book can push us to massage problems in a work to reflect our existing good will toward it or, if the work too abruptly veers from our expectations, those expectations can lead to a sense of betrayal that wouldn t otherwise come about A negative feeling toward a book can likewise either sour us unfairly toward the work or too easily endear us when things turn out better than we might have guessed And this isn t just a dynamic that exists before a book is opened Expectation is interlaced throughout one s experience of a story in a manner both complex and largely unpredictable What we expect of a book is a force that plays in every moment of a book s consumption, from taking in its cover to its method of introduction to its characterization to those characters arcs to plot points along the way to its use of thematic elements to its climax to its conclusion And to any number of other parts and pieces along the way While reading a book, our expectations will naturally shift as we assimilate new information with our experiences and awareness of other stories and formulae So while we may try to give books a fair shake, it s impossible to approach things from an entirely neutral vantage This is all very elemental critical theory of course and probably doesn t surprise a single one of you I only mention it so that you ll be well on alert to my own predispositions in regard to King City.Among the myriad tastes and experiences that influenced how I would approach reading King City, there were two major and conflicting things that exerted some force me The first was the excitement praise cycle that caused me to buy the book If it wasn t for tremendous word of mouth, I wouldn t have been aware of King City in the least let alone have been persuaded to spend of my limited budget to secure a copy That right there is the kind of good feeling toward a book that I mentioned earlier, usually a boon but sometimes an albatross In any case, I was excited for King City when the package arrived in the mail Opening the book, however, led immediately to a sense of betrayal, as Brandon Graham s visual sense conjured a whole host of predispositions none of which were conducive to a just approach to his work.So I took a couple weeks to let those dueling expectations dim before I read a single page of King City I think that was probably the right decision King City is a wonky, sly futuristic extrapolation of a ton of implausibilities caked in that kind of alt formal art style I rightly or wrongly associate with a skate punk, indie DIY aesthetic It s the art style that made me put down the book for two weeks Generally, this visual method means cluttered, cacophonous pages filled with too much Stuff and disastrous visual storytelling The characters are cartoony and not always super consistent There s nothing necessarily wrong with the style save for the fact that I just don t have the patience for it.But Graham s work in King City, though often busy and often manic, surprised me by being easy to follow and sometimes even a raucous joy to experience There s a lot going on in this book both visually and narratively, but it doesn t bog down in overly detailed renditions of scenery It may be that the importance of King City as its own kind of character gives meaning to all those flourishes that would otherwise be decorative trivialities.While King City is principally concerned with Joe, a spy thief and cat master, and his feline companion Earthling, the city he s returned to on Page 1 is nearly as important King City in Graham is like L.A in Chandler or Tokyo in Murakami or New York in Auster only hopped up on two fistfuls of crazy The city is populated by ninjas, mercenaries, spies, hoods, thieves, cults, aliens, and weirder things There are secret passages into even the most mundane places There are hideouts and tentacles and drugs made from humans And puns There are a lot of puns If puns aren t your thing, then King City is not your thing For that matter King City might not be your thing either A knack for wordplay may be low ball humour, but that s only tip of iceberg here Graham has built a world that, while thriving on sex and violence, gloriesthan anything in a sense of humour and comic timing Personally, I found very winning the particular joy Graham exhibits in giving his characters the stage and ability to make so consistently with the funny.So far as story is concerned and it really isn t too concerned , King City reflects on cat master Joe as he returns from a couple years away He had fled the city after a bad break up and holed up on The Farm, where he learned the Way of the Cat and received his boon companion, Earthling, whom he carries around in a bucket Joe is doing some sneak thief work to ingratiate himself to the locals while he tries to find his feet in a city that s changed while he s been away Meanwhile, his old friend Pete Taifighter who wears constantly from a collection of wrestling masks has decided to cross his employers Transporter style after having grown a conscience Meanwhile still, Anna Greengables Joe s ex is painting graffiti moustaches and worrying over her drug conflicted ex mercenary boyfriend, who s got bad PTS from the last Xombie war And then, on top of that, there s a death cult and tentacle monster and the fate of the world Or at least King City.It s a good mix of everything and kitchen sinks and bathroom scales and old timey refrigerators King City boasts a healthy menagerie of wild abandonments and ridiculousness and tempers it with a lot of heart More heart than I would have expected from something that wallowed in so much indie skater punk aesthetic Brandon Graham, in a word made of three words, defied my expectations In a good way Or maybe in the best way King City was a wonderful experience.NoteIf there s one major issue with the book and by major, I really just mean a triviality that s kind of a shame , it s with the printing Most pages are crisp and lovely, but a good handful show easily visible jpeg artifacting It gives the linework on those pages a blurry feel that dims the enjoyment slightly Below, I ve provided an example of what I m talking about I ve upped the contrast a little to take into consideration monitors that are too bright _____________________ Review courtesy of Good Ok Bad


  3. David Katzman David Katzman says:

    This is one helluva kickass graphic novel It collects the twelve individual issues of King City released in 2011 Brandon Graham creates a fantastical sci fi fantasy realm where just about anything goes Beautiful black and white illustrations with a touch of manga and a whole lotta quirky Outrageously inventive Thoughtfully constructed, frame by frame Packed withpuns per page than a novel by Flann O Brien King City stars an uhm Expert Thief Escape Artist Cat Master Dude I said Ca This is one helluva kickass graphic novel It collects the twelve individual issues of King City released in 2011 Brandon Graham creates a fantastical sci fi fantasy realm where just about anything goes Beautiful black and white illustrations with a touch of manga and a whole lotta quirky Outrageously inventive Thoughtfully constructed, frame by frame Packed withpuns per page than a novel by Flann O Brien King City stars an uhm Expert Thief Escape Artist Cat Master Dude I said Cat Master Whatcould you possibly need to know He was selected, you see, to train with these Cat Masters and was adopted by this cat who when he injects the cat with these drug things well, the cat can do just about anything you can imagine Cat Periscope, Cat Machine Gun, Cat Cleaver of Death, Cat a chute I mean, seriously Do you need any other reason to run out and buy this I think not It s just about the coolest comic of all time Admittedly, the main character is a bit overly obsessed with the female anatomy Admittedly He s a bit juvenile But HE S A CAT MASTER And he did have his heart broken And his best friend is a one woman water breathing alien kind of guy, so they sort of balance each other out.It s just one last time CAT MASTER


  4. Sabrina Sabrina says:

    Rather than try to write a book column worthy compare and contrast proper review, I m just gonna make three listsWhat I liked The story was not predictable That s always a good thing The artist has a clear knowledge of anatomy and movement, and he wasn t afraid to break the rules The figures are well drawn and never stiff All the characters have distinct personalities That s also always a good thing A great deal of creativity went into this book, from the weird use of a cat as an Rather than try to write a book column worthy compare and contrast proper review, I m just gonna make three listsWhat I liked The story was not predictable That s always a good thing The artist has a clear knowledge of anatomy and movement, and he wasn t afraid to break the rules The figures are well drawn and never stiff All the characters have distinct personalities That s also always a good thing A great deal of creativity went into this book, from the weird use of a cat as an all purpose weapon to the endless puns and tricks in the backgrounds The backgrounds I d carefully study each one, looking for all the little drawn jokes to be found in fliers pasted on telephone poles, store displays, T shirts on characters, wall and sidewalk graffiti, and little sketches and labels intended purely for fun The characters actually changed clothes The lack of this irritates me to no end, and manga is just as guilty of it as comics The use of other languages in the background and sound effects Japanese, Korean, Chinese, and some French and German That s cool Sound effects The artist has a wide library of hand lettering fonts, and I liked his unconventional FX ing For example, as a sound effect for someone tying a shoe, the FX was a dress shirt tie in a little FX bubble Neat The omake, like a full page crossword or two page spread board game, complete with character pieces you can cut out and use Neither the hero nor his BFF get their chosen girls, romantically No conventional love stories, here Panel layouts are interesting and varied, and changed to fit scene mood and action Nice The uber plot ending to defeat the big Cthulhu monster wasn t the main point of the story at all, and how the author resolves the problem reflected that Because This story is about the characters It s completely character driven, and you all know how much I love that What I noticed but don t have an opinion about No use of screen tone or pattern Everything is white, black, or a shade of gray The oversize book printing is great for finding hidden details, but makes the book heavy and unwieldy No use of crazy exaggerated expressions I kind of like this, because it shows that emotions can be portrayed with less cartoony art But crazy exaggerated expressions can be VERY funny and effective It s an interesting toss up The characters I didn t like or love to hate anyone Ouch. What I didn t like This is not in any way an equal opportunity fanservice book That s true for almost every manga and comic I ve read, but this book is particularly noticeable because there is SO VERY MUCH FANSERVICE for those who like women Literally 2 out of 3 pages will have fanservice on it Girls in skin tight clothes, boob shot, butt shot, crotch shot, panty flash, finger sucking, gratuitous female mouth close up, etc In contrast, fanservice featuring men gives us a handfull of pages with a shirtless supporting character who is at least nicely built, then a couple shirtless moments with the rather stick thin male lead character, and one comedic butt shot of same Also a handful of background FX y funny little cock and balls drawings points to the first adjective in that last sentence there Granted, this book IS drawn by a straight man, and granted, the double standard of entertainment industry says fully naked women are fine, but fully naked men particularly are you happy to see me ones are not allowed Humph All the women in this book but two are drawn the same way thin, beautiful, shapely butts, large if at least somewhat normal sized breasts, full lipped Angelina Jolie type mouthsusually open Oh, and wearing skin tight pants If they ARE wearing pants, of course There are two TWO women in the book who do not fit this type One is a plump waitress who is in two panels, and whose face we never see because her hair is in the way or her back is to us A supporting character insults her after she walks away, but at least he doesn t say something about her weight The other is a supporting character s supporting character who never says a word in the entire book The top half of her face is covered with a cloth mask All we see of her face are two blank round circles for eyes, and lipsticked lips Not Angelina Jolie lips, though At one point, this woman gives the skinny MC a kiss on the cheek, and he makes a disgusted look and wipes it off with his cat Too much toilet humor Ugh Needsworld building The setting and events raise a lot of questions that remain unanswered at the end Supporting characters needdevelopment Aside from the three main supporting characters, we barely know anything about the others Particularly the deus ex machina ones If they re going to save the day, I d like to knowabout themthen they d be less deus ex machina, hmm And WTH was with the owls gang, anyway Blah main characters I m listing this here, too, because I didn t like not having a strong reaction to anyone They were sort of interesting, but I didn t particularly care if the hero won or not, or if the ex kept her current angsty boyfriend, or what On the other end, there was no one I wanted to see go down in a blaze of satisfying defeat, no one be creeped out by, nor feel disgust towards whenever they appear because they are so very repellant Everyone was just yawn I ve been trying to think of what else I didn t like for the past five minutes and can t come up with anything, so I guess that s mostly it Hmm The likes list hasindividual items than the dislikes But the first two dislikes are really big in my mind, and I m actually pretty philosophical about fanservice There s just SO MUCH OF IT in this book, and it s so completely in your face gags Overall, I did like the book and don t regret reading it I enjoyed the backgrounds and the creative elements to the story Oh, and one thing I will give a definite star the MC s BFF wonders to himself if he d be so fond about the damsel in distress and I quote if you looked like a plant with teeth It s nice to see some non comedic acknowledgement that attraction is a driving force behind a lot of guy s actions.So King City, by Brandon Graham Go ahead and read it The art is fun, and the story has its moments Be prepared for prodigious amounts of womanly TA snort


  5. Kyla Kyla says:

    King City came recommended by a reviewer I ve grown to trust, so you can imagine my disappointment to find that this graphic novel fell flat for me.In concept, this story is something I should ve enjoyed greatly a cat is used as a multi function weapon tool and there are lots of visual and linguistic puns heavily sprinkled throughout I think the reason the book fell flat for me, though, is because there s a great universe here to explore and expand upon, but the story focuses on four central c King City came recommended by a reviewer I ve grown to trust, so you can imagine my disappointment to find that this graphic novel fell flat for me.In concept, this story is something I should ve enjoyed greatly a cat is used as a multi function weapon tool and there are lots of visual and linguistic puns heavily sprinkled throughout I think the reason the book fell flat for me, though, is because there s a great universe here to explore and expand upon, but the story focuses on four central characters without fleshing out for all except Max, arguably who they are their histories, what makes them tick, internal dialog, etc Even the brief look back at the cat master s training doesn t enhance his character It doesn t explain how he was chosen, what his life was like before that, or anything else that puts the King City world into apersonal context If I can t connect with the characters, I can t connect with the story s universe.The concept for the series is solid, though If there was ever to be a reboot, I d give it a try


  6. Jeff Jackson Jeff Jackson says:

    Rambling, charming, and slyly funny throughout, Brandon Graham s opus involves a Cat Master, chalk addiction, water breathing sex slaves, pesky tentacle demons, and the utter devastation of your former significant other finding someone new and moving on There swhimsy than drama, but Graham keeps the story ambling along and knows when to throw in a welcome digression He s particularly brilliant at world building, drafting accomplished cityscapes and laying out pages in consistently invent Rambling, charming, and slyly funny throughout, Brandon Graham s opus involves a Cat Master, chalk addiction, water breathing sex slaves, pesky tentacle demons, and the utter devastation of your former significant other finding someone new and moving on There swhimsy than drama, but Graham keeps the story ambling along and knows when to throw in a welcome digression He s particularly brilliant at world building, drafting accomplished cityscapes and laying out pages in consistently inventive ways Weirdly, he seems challenged when drawing human forms and faces I m not normally fond of puns, but they re one of the main pleasures here and pulled off like everything else with an assured light touch


  7. Koen Claeys Koen Claeys says:

    Talking about a missed opportunity All the elements for a brilliant comic are present beautiful art, impressive pages, strong humor, but sadly Graham neglects to hold the reader s attention The story just isn t compelling enough dispite all the original ideas The further the story progressed, themy enthusiasm dissapeared like snow before the sun In the end I just couldn t give a damn and quickly went through the last 20 30 pages.


  8. Eric Mesa Eric Mesa says:

    If you go to you can read the review with accompanying images Here s the text Regular readers of Comic POW know I m a huge fan of Brandon Graham When I discover a new creator that I like, I tend to binge on their works Fortunately for my bank account, Brandon Graham has a pretty small canon of work in which he is both writer and artist Prior to working on Multiple Warheads his major non porn was was King City.King City started off on Tokyo Pop and the If you go to you can read the review with accompanying images Here s the text Regular readers of Comic POW know I m a huge fan of Brandon Graham When I discover a new creator that I like, I tend to binge on their works Fortunately for my bank account, Brandon Graham has a pretty small canon of work in which he is both writer and artist Prior to working on Multiple Warheads his major non porn was was King City.King City started off on Tokyo Pop and then the American division went belly up The story was left untold until Image Comics picked it up for the second half The story is, in my eyes, a cross between Quentin Tarantino s Pulp Fiction and Brian Lee O Malley s Scott Pilgrim From Pulp Fiction it takes a couple low level gangsters a professional burglar and a human smuggler who are best friends and then spends a large portion of the story dealing with their lives outside their jobs From Scott Pilgrim it borrows a world that s ALMOST, but not quite our world One of the characters is a veteran of the Korean Zombie war The cat burglar literally uses a cat that can become nearly any device with the right injection.Where King City benefits from the blending of the two is that it ends up able to be a lotserious than Scott Pilgrim even while residing in a strange at times silly world While I thought the Scott Pilgrim graphic novels did a good job of having a climax that showed growth in the character as well as the reason why he acted like an ass, it was, in the end, a silly book for adults who grew up playing video games in the 80s King City is, first and foremost, a book about living in a big city I d known a big about Graham s past and I correctly guessed that this book was written while he was living in New York The book constantly leaves the reader feeling that the city doesn t care about its inhabitants You re left to look out for yourself or hope you have some good friends to help you out There s also the feeling that there s a lotgoing on in the city than you can know Part of this is communicated through Joe s story Who would guess that in their city is a burglar who gets around by injecting his cat and giving it special powers Additionally, he s constantly entering secret hideouts of various gangs and crime families in King City He even lives in a complex rented out by a Bigfoot that s only known to others in his line of work Finally, whenever Graham does two page spreads you can often see lots of extraneous things going on in the city no matter what happens to our main characters, there are others with their own lives doing their own complex dances before their lives end.The war against Korean Zombies may be ridiculous, but Graham uses it to examine how war leaves us damaged Not only does Max have a busted leg, but he s become addicted to chalk as a way to forget the crazy things he saw during the war And the drug causes its users to become brittle like chalk When they die, the dealers come and collect the person to sell the chalk It s a poignantly tragic story in the middle of silliness, but it doesn t feel out of place All the characters in King City are young adults with young adult problems exacerbated by the weird world they live in It could also almost be compared to Rent in the tone and the age of the characters although with less AIDS.Interestingly, I found the most serious story to involve the secondary character, Pete Remember that character Dumb Donald from Fat Albert Image of Dumb Donald and Pete He spends a lot of the beginning of the book wearing that toque and we never see his face He starts off the book picking up a girl he s going to sell into human trafficking as he always does For some reason he falls for her and after he delivers her to his bosses, he starts having regrets And we end up seeing his face for the first time Brandon Graham really makes that moment mean something to us just with that simple act And he spends much of the rest of the comic with the toque on, until another key moment It s Brandon s attention to the effects of these small moments that really transforms King City from yet another admittedly awesome wandering book full of puns as Multiple Warheads has thus turned out to be since its time as a porn comic.Surprisingly, I found Joe s narrative to be the least compelling That s not to say that it wasn t good It definitely hangs with the other narratives like Anna dealing with Max s drug addiction and her desire to help him eventhan he wants to help himself But Joe seems to have the least true adversity He is getting over a breakup with Anna, the perfect girl for him, and his memories tell us it was all his fault He s doing burglar stuff, but that s mostly secondary to the story He s our conduit to Pete, Anna, and Max and he s our reader stand in, explaining the world to us He eventually hooks up with someone involved in an organization that s trying to stop some evil form taking over the world, but it s wonderful and meaningless sex He never has any true obstacles He s still a fascinating character and insight into a world in which people fight with cats, but I quickly found myself wanting to spendtime with Pete and Max.If you want to be transported to somewhere that s just slightly not here and see the story of a few young adults and how they deal with this crazy world, I highly recommend checking out King City


  9. Stephanie Griffin Stephanie Griffin says:

    How much did I dislike this book A LOT Should have read the notes in the back where the author states he started out writing PORN COMICS Also, he s not as clever as he thinks he is.


  10. Alex Sarll Alex Sarll says:

    An afterword confirms this as the first time Brandon Graham could really cut loose, just giving himself license to draw whatever he felt like in that intricate, vibrant, fleshy style of his Meaning there are a lot of monsters, cats, and nice butts in this story, yet it does still hold together at least as a sort of mosaic novel The loose focus is on deadbeat master spy Joe and his weaponised cat, but often it ll drift to his supporting cast, or just the sprawling city around him There s so m An afterword confirms this as the first time Brandon Graham could really cut loose, just giving himself license to draw whatever he felt like in that intricate, vibrant, fleshy style of his Meaning there are a lot of monsters, cats, and nice butts in this story, yet it does still hold together at least as a sort of mosaic novel The loose focus is on deadbeat master spy Joe and his weaponised cat, but often it ll drift to his supporting cast, or just the sprawling city around him There s so much of this town that I never think about All this city going on all at once You can spend forever in a place like this and still see hundreds of new faces everyday All of everyone piled up on each other I wonder how much is going on in all those windows There s a gazillion stories in this nudist of a town And on the page which carries that summary, exploded panels zero in on those windows to show us spearplay, sex, an elephant and a cat playing chess The backgrounds, as loving detailed as an old Calamity James strip, take in everything from fish in artificial legs to ninja sports, dinosaurs on leashes and terrible brilliant visual puns Compared to which the ostensible A plot secret societies, aliens, ancient sorcery very sensibly takes a back seat A love letter to the craziness of urban life And to butts and cats


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10 thoughts on “King City

  1. Ken-ichi Ken-ichi says:

    Part of the magic of comics well, independent comics is that in some ways they areimmediately personal than prose The labor put into creating them isobvious, as are the many quirks of the artist It s like conversing with a stranger who isn t treating you like a stranger, who assumes a level of intimacy that you may not share When it works, it s magic When it doesn t work, man, it s awkward.Sadly King City landed in the latter camp for me Graham clearly put a lot of himself and Part of the magic of comics well, independent comics is that in some ways they areimmediately personal than prose The labor put into creating them isobvious, as are the many quirks of the artist It s like conversing with a stranger who isn t treating you like a stranger, who assumes a level of intimacy that you may not share When it works, it s magic When it doesn t work, man, it s awkward.Sadly King City landed in the latter camp for me Graham clearly put a lot of himself and his love of comics into the visual style, the city, and the endless puns, but a lot of the book s potential went unrealized In a book about a totally zany scifi fantasy city where anything can happen and everything IS happening, there was a ton of empty space In worlds like this I feel like a Hieronymus Bosch Geoff Darrow Where s Waldo approach would better convey the mad claustrophobia, and not the manga style minimalism Graham employs There was also no plot, or character development, which can be ok if there are other things to explore in a book, but the novelty of a cat that can be used as a weapon wears off pretty quickly I think my favorite part of the book was his innovating cussing, fuck a shit sandwich being one of my favorites

  2. Seth T. Seth T. says:

    I ve written before about expectations and how they cheat us of our reading experiences Whether a positive or negative bias, these prejudices do unquestionable damage to the natural formation of opinion A strong positive predisposition toward a book can push us to massage problems in a work to reflect our existing good will toward it or, if the work too abruptly veers from our expectations, those expectations can lead to a sense of betrayal that wouldn t otherwise come about A negative feelin I ve written before about expectations and how they cheat us of our reading experiences Whether a positive or negative bias, these prejudices do unquestionable damage to the natural formation of opinion A strong positive predisposition toward a book can push us to massage problems in a work to reflect our existing good will toward it or, if the work too abruptly veers from our expectations, those expectations can lead to a sense of betrayal that wouldn t otherwise come about A negative feeling toward a book can likewise either sour us unfairly toward the work or too easily endear us when things turn out better than we might have guessed And this isn t just a dynamic that exists before a book is opened Expectation is interlaced throughout one s experience of a story in a manner both complex and largely unpredictable What we expect of a book is a force that plays in every moment of a book s consumption, from taking in its cover to its method of introduction to its characterization to those characters arcs to plot points along the way to its use of thematic elements to its climax to its conclusion And to any number of other parts and pieces along the way While reading a book, our expectations will naturally shift as we assimilate new information with our experiences and awareness of other stories and formulae So while we may try to give books a fair shake, it s impossible to approach things from an entirely neutral vantage This is all very elemental critical theory of course and probably doesn t surprise a single one of you I only mention it so that you ll be well on alert to my own predispositions in regard to King City.Among the myriad tastes and experiences that influenced how I would approach reading King City, there were two major and conflicting things that exerted some force me The first was the excitement praise cycle that caused me to buy the book If it wasn t for tremendous word of mouth, I wouldn t have been aware of King City in the least let alone have been persuaded to spend of my limited budget to secure a copy That right there is the kind of good feeling toward a book that I mentioned earlier, usually a boon but sometimes an albatross In any case, I was excited for King City when the package arrived in the mail Opening the book, however, led immediately to a sense of betrayal, as Brandon Graham s visual sense conjured a whole host of predispositions none of which were conducive to a just approach to his work.So I took a couple weeks to let those dueling expectations dim before I read a single page of King City I think that was probably the right decision King City is a wonky, sly futuristic extrapolation of a ton of implausibilities caked in that kind of alt formal art style I rightly or wrongly associate with a skate punk, indie DIY aesthetic It s the art style that made me put down the book for two weeks Generally, this visual method means cluttered, cacophonous pages filled with too much Stuff and disastrous visual storytelling The characters are cartoony and not always super consistent There s nothing necessarily wrong with the style save for the fact that I just don t have the patience for it.But Graham s work in King City, though often busy and often manic, surprised me by being easy to follow and sometimes even a raucous joy to experience There s a lot going on in this book both visually and narratively, but it doesn t bog down in overly detailed renditions of scenery It may be that the importance of King City as its own kind of character gives meaning to all those flourishes that would otherwise be decorative trivialities.While King City is principally concerned with Joe, a spy thief and cat master, and his feline companion Earthling, the city he s returned to on Page 1 is nearly as important King City in Graham is like L.A in Chandler or Tokyo in Murakami or New York in Auster only hopped up on two fistfuls of crazy The city is populated by ninjas, mercenaries, spies, hoods, thieves, cults, aliens, and weirder things There are secret passages into even the most mundane places There are hideouts and tentacles and drugs made from humans And puns There are a lot of puns If puns aren t your thing, then King City is not your thing For that matter King City might not be your thing either A knack for wordplay may be low ball humour, but that s only tip of iceberg here Graham has built a world that, while thriving on sex and violence, gloriesthan anything in a sense of humour and comic timing Personally, I found very winning the particular joy Graham exhibits in giving his characters the stage and ability to make so consistently with the funny.So far as story is concerned and it really isn t too concerned , King City reflects on cat master Joe as he returns from a couple years away He had fled the city after a bad break up and holed up on The Farm, where he learned the Way of the Cat and received his boon companion, Earthling, whom he carries around in a bucket Joe is doing some sneak thief work to ingratiate himself to the locals while he tries to find his feet in a city that s changed while he s been away Meanwhile, his old friend Pete Taifighter who wears constantly from a collection of wrestling masks has decided to cross his employers Transporter style after having grown a conscience Meanwhile still, Anna Greengables Joe s ex is painting graffiti moustaches and worrying over her drug conflicted ex mercenary boyfriend, who s got bad PTS from the last Xombie war And then, on top of that, there s a death cult and tentacle monster and the fate of the world Or at least King City.It s a good mix of everything and kitchen sinks and bathroom scales and old timey refrigerators King City boasts a healthy menagerie of wild abandonments and ridiculousness and tempers it with a lot of heart More heart than I would have expected from something that wallowed in so much indie skater punk aesthetic Brandon Graham, in a word made of three words, defied my expectations In a good way Or maybe in the best way King City was a wonderful experience.NoteIf there s one major issue with the book and by major, I really just mean a triviality that s kind of a shame , it s with the printing Most pages are crisp and lovely, but a good handful show easily visible jpeg artifacting It gives the linework on those pages a blurry feel that dims the enjoyment slightly Below, I ve provided an example of what I m talking about I ve upped the contrast a little to take into consideration monitors that are too bright _____________________ Review courtesy of Good Ok Bad

  3. David Katzman David Katzman says:

    This is one helluva kickass graphic novel It collects the twelve individual issues of King City released in 2011 Brandon Graham creates a fantastical sci fi fantasy realm where just about anything goes Beautiful black and white illustrations with a touch of manga and a whole lotta quirky Outrageously inventive Thoughtfully constructed, frame by frame Packed withpuns per page than a novel by Flann O Brien King City stars an uhm Expert Thief Escape Artist Cat Master Dude I said Ca This is one helluva kickass graphic novel It collects the twelve individual issues of King City released in 2011 Brandon Graham creates a fantastical sci fi fantasy realm where just about anything goes Beautiful black and white illustrations with a touch of manga and a whole lotta quirky Outrageously inventive Thoughtfully constructed, frame by frame Packed withpuns per page than a novel by Flann O Brien King City stars an uhm Expert Thief Escape Artist Cat Master Dude I said Cat Master Whatcould you possibly need to know He was selected, you see, to train with these Cat Masters and was adopted by this cat who when he injects the cat with these drug things well, the cat can do just about anything you can imagine Cat Periscope, Cat Machine Gun, Cat Cleaver of Death, Cat a chute I mean, seriously Do you need any other reason to run out and buy this I think not It s just about the coolest comic of all time Admittedly, the main character is a bit overly obsessed with the female anatomy Admittedly He s a bit juvenile But HE S A CAT MASTER And he did have his heart broken And his best friend is a one woman water breathing alien kind of guy, so they sort of balance each other out.It s just one last time CAT MASTER

  4. Sabrina Sabrina says:

    Rather than try to write a book column worthy compare and contrast proper review, I m just gonna make three listsWhat I liked The story was not predictable That s always a good thing The artist has a clear knowledge of anatomy and movement, and he wasn t afraid to break the rules The figures are well drawn and never stiff All the characters have distinct personalities That s also always a good thing A great deal of creativity went into this book, from the weird use of a cat as an Rather than try to write a book column worthy compare and contrast proper review, I m just gonna make three listsWhat I liked The story was not predictable That s always a good thing The artist has a clear knowledge of anatomy and movement, and he wasn t afraid to break the rules The figures are well drawn and never stiff All the characters have distinct personalities That s also always a good thing A great deal of creativity went into this book, from the weird use of a cat as an all purpose weapon to the endless puns and tricks in the backgrounds The backgrounds I d carefully study each one, looking for all the little drawn jokes to be found in fliers pasted on telephone poles, store displays, T shirts on characters, wall and sidewalk graffiti, and little sketches and labels intended purely for fun The characters actually changed clothes The lack of this irritates me to no end, and manga is just as guilty of it as comics The use of other languages in the background and sound effects Japanese, Korean, Chinese, and some French and German That s cool Sound effects The artist has a wide library of hand lettering fonts, and I liked his unconventional FX ing For example, as a sound effect for someone tying a shoe, the FX was a dress shirt tie in a little FX bubble Neat The omake, like a full page crossword or two page spread board game, complete with character pieces you can cut out and use Neither the hero nor his BFF get their chosen girls, romantically No conventional love stories, here Panel layouts are interesting and varied, and changed to fit scene mood and action Nice The uber plot ending to defeat the big Cthulhu monster wasn t the main point of the story at all, and how the author resolves the problem reflected that Because This story is about the characters It s completely character driven, and you all know how much I love that What I noticed but don t have an opinion about No use of screen tone or pattern Everything is white, black, or a shade of gray The oversize book printing is great for finding hidden details, but makes the book heavy and unwieldy No use of crazy exaggerated expressions I kind of like this, because it shows that emotions can be portrayed with less cartoony art But crazy exaggerated expressions can be VERY funny and effective It s an interesting toss up The characters I didn t like or love to hate anyone Ouch. What I didn t like This is not in any way an equal opportunity fanservice book That s true for almost every manga and comic I ve read, but this book is particularly noticeable because there is SO VERY MUCH FANSERVICE for those who like women Literally 2 out of 3 pages will have fanservice on it Girls in skin tight clothes, boob shot, butt shot, crotch shot, panty flash, finger sucking, gratuitous female mouth close up, etc In contrast, fanservice featuring men gives us a handfull of pages with a shirtless supporting character who is at least nicely built, then a couple shirtless moments with the rather stick thin male lead character, and one comedic butt shot of same Also a handful of background FX y funny little cock and balls drawings points to the first adjective in that last sentence there Granted, this book IS drawn by a straight man, and granted, the double standard of entertainment industry says fully naked women are fine, but fully naked men particularly are you happy to see me ones are not allowed Humph All the women in this book but two are drawn the same way thin, beautiful, shapely butts, large if at least somewhat normal sized breasts, full lipped Angelina Jolie type mouthsusually open Oh, and wearing skin tight pants If they ARE wearing pants, of course There are two TWO women in the book who do not fit this type One is a plump waitress who is in two panels, and whose face we never see because her hair is in the way or her back is to us A supporting character insults her after she walks away, but at least he doesn t say something about her weight The other is a supporting character s supporting character who never says a word in the entire book The top half of her face is covered with a cloth mask All we see of her face are two blank round circles for eyes, and lipsticked lips Not Angelina Jolie lips, though At one point, this woman gives the skinny MC a kiss on the cheek, and he makes a disgusted look and wipes it off with his cat Too much toilet humor Ugh Needsworld building The setting and events raise a lot of questions that remain unanswered at the end Supporting characters needdevelopment Aside from the three main supporting characters, we barely know anything about the others Particularly the deus ex machina ones If they re going to save the day, I d like to knowabout themthen they d be less deus ex machina, hmm And WTH was with the owls gang, anyway Blah main characters I m listing this here, too, because I didn t like not having a strong reaction to anyone They were sort of interesting, but I didn t particularly care if the hero won or not, or if the ex kept her current angsty boyfriend, or what On the other end, there was no one I wanted to see go down in a blaze of satisfying defeat, no one be creeped out by, nor feel disgust towards whenever they appear because they are so very repellant Everyone was just yawn I ve been trying to think of what else I didn t like for the past five minutes and can t come up with anything, so I guess that s mostly it Hmm The likes list hasindividual items than the dislikes But the first two dislikes are really big in my mind, and I m actually pretty philosophical about fanservice There s just SO MUCH OF IT in this book, and it s so completely in your face gags Overall, I did like the book and don t regret reading it I enjoyed the backgrounds and the creative elements to the story Oh, and one thing I will give a definite star the MC s BFF wonders to himself if he d be so fond about the damsel in distress and I quote if you looked like a plant with teeth It s nice to see some non comedic acknowledgement that attraction is a driving force behind a lot of guy s actions.So King City, by Brandon Graham Go ahead and read it The art is fun, and the story has its moments Be prepared for prodigious amounts of womanly TA snort

  5. Kyla Kyla says:

    King City came recommended by a reviewer I ve grown to trust, so you can imagine my disappointment to find that this graphic novel fell flat for me.In concept, this story is something I should ve enjoyed greatly a cat is used as a multi function weapon tool and there are lots of visual and linguistic puns heavily sprinkled throughout I think the reason the book fell flat for me, though, is because there s a great universe here to explore and expand upon, but the story focuses on four central c King City came recommended by a reviewer I ve grown to trust, so you can imagine my disappointment to find that this graphic novel fell flat for me.In concept, this story is something I should ve enjoyed greatly a cat is used as a multi function weapon tool and there are lots of visual and linguistic puns heavily sprinkled throughout I think the reason the book fell flat for me, though, is because there s a great universe here to explore and expand upon, but the story focuses on four central characters without fleshing out for all except Max, arguably who they are their histories, what makes them tick, internal dialog, etc Even the brief look back at the cat master s training doesn t enhance his character It doesn t explain how he was chosen, what his life was like before that, or anything else that puts the King City world into apersonal context If I can t connect with the characters, I can t connect with the story s universe.The concept for the series is solid, though If there was ever to be a reboot, I d give it a try

  6. Jeff Jackson Jeff Jackson says:

    Rambling, charming, and slyly funny throughout, Brandon Graham s opus involves a Cat Master, chalk addiction, water breathing sex slaves, pesky tentacle demons, and the utter devastation of your former significant other finding someone new and moving on There swhimsy than drama, but Graham keeps the story ambling along and knows when to throw in a welcome digression He s particularly brilliant at world building, drafting accomplished cityscapes and laying out pages in consistently invent Rambling, charming, and slyly funny throughout, Brandon Graham s opus involves a Cat Master, chalk addiction, water breathing sex slaves, pesky tentacle demons, and the utter devastation of your former significant other finding someone new and moving on There swhimsy than drama, but Graham keeps the story ambling along and knows when to throw in a welcome digression He s particularly brilliant at world building, drafting accomplished cityscapes and laying out pages in consistently inventive ways Weirdly, he seems challenged when drawing human forms and faces I m not normally fond of puns, but they re one of the main pleasures here and pulled off like everything else with an assured light touch

  7. Koen Claeys Koen Claeys says:

    Talking about a missed opportunity All the elements for a brilliant comic are present beautiful art, impressive pages, strong humor, but sadly Graham neglects to hold the reader s attention The story just isn t compelling enough dispite all the original ideas The further the story progressed, themy enthusiasm dissapeared like snow before the sun In the end I just couldn t give a damn and quickly went through the last 20 30 pages.

  8. Eric Mesa Eric Mesa says:

    If you go to you can read the review with accompanying images Here s the text Regular readers of Comic POW know I m a huge fan of Brandon Graham When I discover a new creator that I like, I tend to binge on their works Fortunately for my bank account, Brandon Graham has a pretty small canon of work in which he is both writer and artist Prior to working on Multiple Warheads his major non porn was was King City.King City started off on Tokyo Pop and the If you go to you can read the review with accompanying images Here s the text Regular readers of Comic POW know I m a huge fan of Brandon Graham When I discover a new creator that I like, I tend to binge on their works Fortunately for my bank account, Brandon Graham has a pretty small canon of work in which he is both writer and artist Prior to working on Multiple Warheads his major non porn was was King City.King City started off on Tokyo Pop and then the American division went belly up The story was left untold until Image Comics picked it up for the second half The story is, in my eyes, a cross between Quentin Tarantino s Pulp Fiction and Brian Lee O Malley s Scott Pilgrim From Pulp Fiction it takes a couple low level gangsters a professional burglar and a human smuggler who are best friends and then spends a large portion of the story dealing with their lives outside their jobs From Scott Pilgrim it borrows a world that s ALMOST, but not quite our world One of the characters is a veteran of the Korean Zombie war The cat burglar literally uses a cat that can become nearly any device with the right injection.Where King City benefits from the blending of the two is that it ends up able to be a lotserious than Scott Pilgrim even while residing in a strange at times silly world While I thought the Scott Pilgrim graphic novels did a good job of having a climax that showed growth in the character as well as the reason why he acted like an ass, it was, in the end, a silly book for adults who grew up playing video games in the 80s King City is, first and foremost, a book about living in a big city I d known a big about Graham s past and I correctly guessed that this book was written while he was living in New York The book constantly leaves the reader feeling that the city doesn t care about its inhabitants You re left to look out for yourself or hope you have some good friends to help you out There s also the feeling that there s a lotgoing on in the city than you can know Part of this is communicated through Joe s story Who would guess that in their city is a burglar who gets around by injecting his cat and giving it special powers Additionally, he s constantly entering secret hideouts of various gangs and crime families in King City He even lives in a complex rented out by a Bigfoot that s only known to others in his line of work Finally, whenever Graham does two page spreads you can often see lots of extraneous things going on in the city no matter what happens to our main characters, there are others with their own lives doing their own complex dances before their lives end.The war against Korean Zombies may be ridiculous, but Graham uses it to examine how war leaves us damaged Not only does Max have a busted leg, but he s become addicted to chalk as a way to forget the crazy things he saw during the war And the drug causes its users to become brittle like chalk When they die, the dealers come and collect the person to sell the chalk It s a poignantly tragic story in the middle of silliness, but it doesn t feel out of place All the characters in King City are young adults with young adult problems exacerbated by the weird world they live in It could also almost be compared to Rent in the tone and the age of the characters although with less AIDS.Interestingly, I found the most serious story to involve the secondary character, Pete Remember that character Dumb Donald from Fat Albert Image of Dumb Donald and Pete He spends a lot of the beginning of the book wearing that toque and we never see his face He starts off the book picking up a girl he s going to sell into human trafficking as he always does For some reason he falls for her and after he delivers her to his bosses, he starts having regrets And we end up seeing his face for the first time Brandon Graham really makes that moment mean something to us just with that simple act And he spends much of the rest of the comic with the toque on, until another key moment It s Brandon s attention to the effects of these small moments that really transforms King City from yet another admittedly awesome wandering book full of puns as Multiple Warheads has thus turned out to be since its time as a porn comic.Surprisingly, I found Joe s narrative to be the least compelling That s not to say that it wasn t good It definitely hangs with the other narratives like Anna dealing with Max s drug addiction and her desire to help him eventhan he wants to help himself But Joe seems to have the least true adversity He is getting over a breakup with Anna, the perfect girl for him, and his memories tell us it was all his fault He s doing burglar stuff, but that s mostly secondary to the story He s our conduit to Pete, Anna, and Max and he s our reader stand in, explaining the world to us He eventually hooks up with someone involved in an organization that s trying to stop some evil form taking over the world, but it s wonderful and meaningless sex He never has any true obstacles He s still a fascinating character and insight into a world in which people fight with cats, but I quickly found myself wanting to spendtime with Pete and Max.If you want to be transported to somewhere that s just slightly not here and see the story of a few young adults and how they deal with this crazy world, I highly recommend checking out King City

  9. Stephanie Griffin Stephanie Griffin says:

    How much did I dislike this book A LOT Should have read the notes in the back where the author states he started out writing PORN COMICS Also, he s not as clever as he thinks he is.

  10. Alex Sarll Alex Sarll says:

    An afterword confirms this as the first time Brandon Graham could really cut loose, just giving himself license to draw whatever he felt like in that intricate, vibrant, fleshy style of his Meaning there are a lot of monsters, cats, and nice butts in this story, yet it does still hold together at least as a sort of mosaic novel The loose focus is on deadbeat master spy Joe and his weaponised cat, but often it ll drift to his supporting cast, or just the sprawling city around him There s so m An afterword confirms this as the first time Brandon Graham could really cut loose, just giving himself license to draw whatever he felt like in that intricate, vibrant, fleshy style of his Meaning there are a lot of monsters, cats, and nice butts in this story, yet it does still hold together at least as a sort of mosaic novel The loose focus is on deadbeat master spy Joe and his weaponised cat, but often it ll drift to his supporting cast, or just the sprawling city around him There s so much of this town that I never think about All this city going on all at once You can spend forever in a place like this and still see hundreds of new faces everyday All of everyone piled up on each other I wonder how much is going on in all those windows There s a gazillion stories in this nudist of a town And on the page which carries that summary, exploded panels zero in on those windows to show us spearplay, sex, an elephant and a cat playing chess The backgrounds, as loving detailed as an old Calamity James strip, take in everything from fish in artificial legs to ninja sports, dinosaurs on leashes and terrible brilliant visual puns Compared to which the ostensible A plot secret societies, aliens, ancient sorcery very sensibly takes a back seat A love letter to the craziness of urban life And to butts and cats

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