The Silent Majority

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Posts Tagged ‘mystery

Hawaiian Dick vol 1 – Byrd of Paradise

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Hawaiian Dick vol 1 – Byrd of Paradise
Writer – B. Clay Moore
Art – Stephen Griffin

Hawaiian Dick is a detective story following the titular Byrd, a disgraced former police forced from the mainland due to a violent incident, who takes up residence in Hawaii to – one assumes – drink himself to death. Instead Byrd ends up working as a private investigator for police detective and war-buddy Mo. Alongside them is compatriot and cocktail Waitress Kahami, a dame with a heart of steel and an eye for Byrd, looking for her runaway sister and a cast of characters to make the island both dangerous and colourful. And so we’re put alongside our Hawaiian Dick, who alongside Mo, has the odds stacked against him with time running out.

As the outsider, Byrd is witness to the unexplainable phenomenon of the Hawaiian culture gone supernatural, as witch-doctors and resurrected bodies roam the countryside, looking for revenge. But it’s not that kind of “magic” book. It’s not a supernatural mystery, it’s a ghost story. It’s not horror, it’s mysticism. Hawaiian Dick is chock full of the undead, floating monsters that hang in trees outside your window but it’s not mutants, or magic, or elves and orcs. It’s the supernatural kind of supernatural that Byrd can’t understand or explain with smoke and mirrors. It’s the local myths of the colonized scratching at the feet of the detective story playing overtop.

Far from a formulaic detective story, the characters are placed in a setting so unique that it changes the entire aesthetic and reading of the book. It’s a 50’s Noir tinted with a Hawaiian mythos. A campfire story with bullets, broads and the revenge of the undead body they found in a trunk.

The effect is an island surrounded by mystery, mob bosses and lackeys, bent cops interfering with the investigations of straight cops and relatively no place to go. When it comes down to it, how far can you run on an island as small as Hawaii? Especially from what you don’t understand?

– Timothy Legion

— Timothy Legion is not presently read, looked to or admired. He created a newspaper (pamphlet) at his University that is fondly remembered by six people. He has not won any awards or been considered for nominations. He is wrist-deep in the Third Year of his self-imposed GLORIOUS FIVE YEAR PLAN.

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Written by thesilentmajoritysays

March 13, 2009 at 12:00 PM

Posted in crime, mystery, Uncategorized

Tagged with ,

Desolation Jones

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DESOLATION JONES

Philip K. Dick infamously wrote letters to the spy agencies that he assumed were keeping tabs on him detailing the illegal activities of his friends, which he taped to the underside of his trash can left on the road because that was the most obvious place that they would look. For years, Dick had these one-way conversations with fictitious investigative agencies, including the intelligence community in his life everyday, fictitiously surrounding himself with spies and spooks from all over the world.

Enter Warren Ellis, realizing Dick’s nightmare of an intelligence community in Los Angeles, creating a sub-community of exiled spies forced to live in L.A. or be executed on their own native soil. So DESOLATION JONES’ world sits in a Los Angeles chock full of former FBI, Mi-6, CIA, KGB and uglier things, all forced to live and maintain day jobs, scattered across LA’s grotesque underbelly.

Michael Jones, neither accomplished agent nor good detective, is former MI6 who got drunk and shamed the organization. In retribution, they donated his body to science, giving him the Desolation treatment – a psychological experiment that kept Jones awake for a year and left him branded a biological hazard – and then sent him to die in L.A.. In exile, Jones is a social and emotional cripple, working as a Private Investigator who only takes spook community jobs, making sure he’s only even in contact with the community. The reason? He hates the community for what was done to him and they’re the only ones he can take it out on. His instincts are so harsh and warped that he has to convince himself to NOT kill.

So when he comes into jobs to search for the personal pornographic film shot by and starring Adolf Hitler, Jones a warped and demented forced of nature unleashed into the job, a poisonous outsider to L.A. and a tired killer to the community that supports him.

To bring the Desolation world to life is the inimitable J.H. Williams III, whose stunning colours, composition, angles and page layouts make DESOLATION JONES aesthetically vibrant. The story flows from reality to drug-induced hallucination to ultra-violence with masterful dexterity. His page layouts shift dramatically to keep the reader interested and guessing with widescreen presentation and monochrome, fluid fight sequences that’ll take out your eye.

For Philip K. Dick the “Empire Never Ended,” which reflects DESOLATION JONES’ reality. The Empire of Spies and Spooks doesn’t end, they just had to get day jobs. And for Jones, there’s no redemption. They broke, burned and scratched their markings into his arms. Unable to even drink himself to death, Jones has nothing but to work until he can’t even keep that together anymore. To die or to live and die in L.A.

– Timothy Legion

— Timothy Legion is not presently read, looked to or admired. He created a newspaper (pamphlet) at his University that is fondly remembered by six people. He has not won any awards or been considered for nominations. He is wrist-deep in the Third Year of his self-imposed GLORIOUS FIVE YEAR PLAN.

Written by thesilentmajoritysays

March 5, 2009 at 12:00 PM