Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Mesmo Delivery by Rafael Grampá

I think that if I was going to get a tattoo, I'd ask the artist of Mesmo Delivery, Rafael Grampá, to design it. This comic just oozed style, a style that screams "ginger haired hipster with beard, braces and black rimmed glasses, playing the saxophone ...and drinking an espresso".

Yeah; crazy, crazy hip.

The art was key to Mesmo Delivery truly delivering. It's somber enough to give the impression of darkness, grainy enough to give it grit and bold enough to... well, to tattoo into my skin.

Sample page
Damn, boy, this sure is purty
To top it off, the entire piece felt filtered -drained of colour, but without being overly muted, which gave it a real noir trucker look.

The world of Mesmo Delivery was equally gritty and intense. I have seen enough hitchhiker movies to know that truck-stops, diners and roadside hangouts usually result in a beheading or zombie attack. And Mesmo Delivery did not disappoint on the violence dial. This comic is graphic.

The characters were the most beautifully-ugly band of dysfunctional misfits I've seen in a long while. First up is Rufo, an oversized lug, with a squashed, pug like face, and gigantic, baby-like quality. And our hero (if that's the word for it), Sangrecco? Grampa describes his creative evolution (in a generous gallery at the back of the book) as a blending of Elvis and Iggy Pop; a character who brings performance art to assassination. Which is true. This character, for all his ugliness, is like ballet dancer with blades. And the supporting  characters; a band of toothless bottom feeders, made me cringe as much as smile - with g-strings over jeans, overbites, overalls and over-the-top inbreeding up to the wazoo.

I think what I enjoyed most about it though was it's zany, self-aware, and lovingly crafted cinematic framing. There were some panels, some scenes which just left my mouth hanging open they were so frickin' cool! Point-of-view conversations, beheadings (where zoom-in close-ups show the minutiae of the blade tearing through a throat), impalings, and my favourite panel - where a moment of piss-your-pants terror has been executed with unimaginable (for the subject matter) design panache. It's something else.

The story itself (also authored by Grampá) was simple, following a couple of mysterious truckers pulling into a diner. I won't go into the details, but it worked perfectly with the intense graphical quality of the art. I suspect my Faction co-publisher would disagree with me, but not all storylines have to give you sucker-punch depth. In fact the simple story telling of Mesmo complemented the visual complexity of the comic's design -  and I found the balance pleasing.

It definitely makes me want to see more, but not in the sense that I fell in love with the characters, or wished the story would never end. In fact, in love with Mesmo Delivery I definately am not. There was certainly nothing to like in the characters, and the violence was harrowing. But as a spectacle, it was riveting. It was such an adrenaline-pounding read that, like a drug trip, I felt hollowed out after it was all over. And like a drug, it left me wanting more.

And a tattoo. It left me wanting a tattoo by Grampá. So yeah. Go buy this book.

Get it here
Preview it here

Amie Maxwell
Faction co-editor 

No comments:

Post a Comment