Ok. So here's something I picked up randomly. I am not at all familiar with the works of Tatjana or Alberto Ponticelli. Count on Dark Horse Comics to bring something new to the platter. To be completely honest, apart from a few names, I usually don't like comics issued by Dark Horse and I didn't really have high expectations for this one. Either, I have to rethink my rather harsh judgement of Dark Horse or add another name to that list of good 'uns. Dead Or Alive - A Cyberpunk Western is fantastic - from the quirky art to the superbly wacky storyline. The four issue mini-series is one kvlt series.
The whole story just sort of explodes in front of your face. I can't even start to explain it or even provide some sort of information on what it's about. I'll try though. Well, as the name implies, the setting is in the old west with a very 'Total Recall'ish twist. These are times of turmoil, battle and anguish - a self-proclaimed emperor, Mr. Bungle is trying to conquer the west by trying to sell people B-Grade Cow Meat. You read correctly. Now proceed to read more questionably correct things. "Meanwhile, in a distant manger, a child of destiny awakes!" (Not to mention that the parents seem to be two guys who look like they're working undercover for the Yakuza). Again, at the same time, the Earth (or atleast the Cyberpunk West part of it) is about to get invaded by Aliens. Take note, these aliens decide to take over Earth by morphing into semi-nude biker chicks. In the process of taking over the world, the Aliens make sure that they have time to take over a group of Cyberpunk Red Indians, who now believe that they are a part of the 'alien tribe', due to an Alien being beating the local Pehelwan at some sort of wrestling game (to death though lol; unlike ze WWF). The fourth mini-story, while all these seemingly absurd events go on is - An Inspecter by the name of Giggles, part cowboy, part cyborg and part clown, the protagonist (if this story can have one) of the story, is investigating a local butcher shop as there have been complaints that the meat being sold tastes funny. Rest assured, everything comes together, quite literally. Oh yeah, put in Godzilla somewhere there. Umm...Not exactly Godzilla, but still... ( "Oh NO! Here comes a GIANT man in a lizard suit!" - I lol'd so hard for that one). Well, I did warn you that I won't be very good at this.
I'd really love to know of the other works of Alberto Ponticelli, for he is really, really talented (the investigation has begun). His artwork is nothing short of sheer kvltness. Agreed, that his style may not work with comics that don't radiate such a level of randomness as this one and he doesn't reach my list of top artists, but still, I have nothing but respect for Mr. Ponticelli. The amount of detail put into each page is fantastic. There are small side jokes to be found in each page in the near foreground and background (as you folks can see in those previews I've put up) - not unlike those in MAD magazine, except these side jokes are in the main content itself. Tatjana is a brilliant story-teller. The overall story could be something described as The Bible meets Robocop meets The Good, Bad and The Ugly meets Heavy Metal meets Independance Day. Erm...something like that. An exceptionally well-told story, which you need to read to understand what it’s really about. I'm glad it didn't drag on for too long. Four issues was the perfect length. This is recommended for all you sci-fi folk out there!
Just hit your player on random and sit back and enjoy the WILD ride. Interestingly, when my player was on shuffle, the Cut Chemist song, Big Break off of The Audience's Listening came on; the song starts off by this spoken intro saying 'The Robots are coming!’ At the same time, in the comic, this huge ass robot starts his journey in pursuit of Inspector Giggles. Spooky!