Thursday, December 13, 2007


REVIEW: HARD-BOILED COMICS #1 published by Goodbum Studios
Posted in Reviews by Wesley Green on the September 6th, 2006

Reviewed by Matt Butcher / Writer for Independent Propaganda
Written and created by Steve EarnhartArt by Marcelo Carmona, Carlos Devizia, Harsho Chattoraj, and Bob Lizarraga
Published by Goodbum Studios

With the feel of a Phillip Marlowe movie, Hard-Boiled Comics makes its debut with an explosion of a first issue. It is printed in glorious black and white, like the awesome film noir movies it recreates.

Hard-Boiled Comics is the vision of a private investigator named Billy Blackburn in Los Angeles in the year 2024 created by Steve Earnhart. The character and the whole comic feel just like a Marlowe movie. It profoundly reeks of classics like The Big Sleep and The Maltese Falcon. There’s even that sexy banter between Blackburn and the lady, just like the classic banter between Bogart and Bacall. This is a great effect and actually a hard thing to pull off. Having a crumbum private detective like Marlowe actually come across as likeable and virtuous while being seedy and despicable at the same time is a hard feat, but Earnhart accomplishes that with his detective Billy Blackburn. Like the Raymond Chandler novels, this is marvelous pulp, fiction for people who love fiction. There is an amazing amount to read here and that is wonderful for someone like me who does not want their comic dollars being read within two minutes. This comic makes you sit back and enjoy and good long read.

It even wonderfully plays upon the genre, with the setting in a post-apocalyptic Los Angeles. The sordid areas that Blackburn has to visit are littered with the depredations of man, and for good measure, a few aliens are thrown in.

There’s great art here as well. There is a real feel for wanting to get the art as good as possible before it hit the stands. The backup “making of” feature at the end of this comic purport to that effect. The art sinks in and is as gritty as the subject matter, making for a remarkably well done connection. When the reader feels the art goes along with the story, that at times can be a rare combination indeed. Here, it does just that.

Personally, I am quite impressed with the quality of this independent book. It makes me pine for the good times of the 80s when First Comics hit the scene with Badger, Nexus, and Chaykin’s American Flagg!. Those comics are still viciously sought after and enjoyed and Hard-Boiled Comics makes me reminisce for those great independent days. That is no pale comparison. This comic is flat out GOOD.

Thanks for the kind words!!
Just wait until we really get rolling…
Comment by Bald Steve — September 8, 2006 @ 5:14 am

[…] To learn more about HARD-BOILED COMICS #1, you can read an advance review here on Independent Propaganda or visit the HARD-BOILED COMICS site. […]
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