Bloody Pulp is another contestant this month done by creators Jeff McComsey & Jorge Vega. It's a great mix of different genres/moods in a amazing story that got a fav from me, and my vote. Here is the synopsis: BLOODY PULP is the story of John “Pulp” Polpowski, a nightmare for hire who leads a dangerous double life -- secretly moving the men and women he’s been paid to kill to a remote safe house far from the syndicate controlled streets of 1930’s Kansas City. Each new resident brought to the house is expected to pull their weight and earn their keep, working side by side with people who know nothing of their past, nothing about who they were in the “real world”. For some residents the ramshackle house is a prison, for others a final chance at redemption. This is the house that Pulp built and the house rules are simple: NO ONE LEAVES. Ever. But nothing is simple about the arrival of Eustace Parks; a Negro bandleader entangled in mob debt. His presence will cause lines to be drawn, passions to ignite and horrible acts to be carried out, leading to an epic standoff that will measure just how far Pulp is willing to go to bring order to his house.
Twilight Zone, Road to Perdition, and Bird all put into a blender for one smooth read
That's a lot of different divergent elements coming together to form a story, but the creators do it with ease. This a comic that grabbed me from panel one, word one and didn't let go the grip -only got tighter. I like some of those old tunes, I enjoy crime comics, add a touch of drive-by weirdness, and you have my go to genre. It starts off with an old set-up (lead strapped to a chair being tortured) given new life thanks to very expressive art, and great dialogue back and forth. The story continues on with a number of interest building images including a head being cut off with a meat cleaver with the classic sfx: thunk! Cutting off some other corpses head is needed to fake a persons death, but it was cool how this necessary step only added to Pulp's killer mystique with "he wants to know... what do you do with the heads?" The pacing of this comic from start to finish fit Zuda perfectly. The letters are fine, and the colors fit the story. The fact that Pulp looks like a always dazed serial killer again adds to the story. Parks wakes up at the hide out town which starts the mystery: Why is Pulp doing this anyway? Screen 6 had some funny moments with Parks wondering where he was, and trying to get the hell out of dodge, while also giving some insight into the people already there. Panel 4 on screen 7 is absolutely fantastic in how expressive the art work is. Violence, dread, horror, humor, wonder -Bloody Pulp touches all the bases as the screens click by. You get a nice cliff hanger ending as Parks wonders where he is, and pulp says: "someplace safe" setting in a swing covered in blood with a cat next to him. reader's will definitely want to know why Pulp's doing this, and what role Parks plays in all this.
The same, but different
'The same, but different' is a common request and expectation of readers. I see genre tags as a form of short hand between writers and their readers. It lets a reader know the basics about the world created for the characters they're reading about. It cuts down on the need for a lot of extraneous exposition, while also giving general guidelines for theme and mood. Historical Period, Action/Adventure are the genre tags on Zuda given to this story. Really though unless aliens show up it's a crime story with a twist. [not a genre tag available on Zuda] You could go down into crime story sub-genre's and hit it with the Noir tag as well -it's even in the title with the word 'Pulp'. Every story/any story can and will be classified into any number of genre's and sub-genre's. I happen to enjoy 'genre' fiction myself, but creators have expectations to meet, and must provide a hook that stands apart from those expectations. When your dealing with Noir their is a perquisite level of 'hard boiled' action/dialogue, once that expectation is met, creators can move on to 'different'. The action elements of Bloody Pulp more than meet expectations, and it sets itself apart by delivering 'different' with a Twilight Zone style twist. It's a staple in horror fiction (and damn near every story Stephen King has ever written): 'the small town with a big dark secret', or a roach motel on a grander scale, that you can never leave. Putting the two together makes for a brilliant story with all kinds of possibilities. The way all the elements of this story came together to offer a great read that could go in any number of directions got my vote, because I need to see how things turn out.