Writer/Artist: Rafael Grampa
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Well known comic book writer Brian Azzarello, in his introduction to Mesmo Delivery Service, raves maniacally about Rafael Grampa’s skill, and how much of a fun read Mesmo is. I have to admit that I would have dismissed Azzarello’s words as pure hyperbole, but after a quick read (and re-read) of the book, I have to admit that the man was not far from the truth.Â This short 74-page graphic novel packs a tremendous punch (pun intended, but you need to read the book to get it). Short story shorter ”“ two people in a delivery truck stop at a roadside gas station, where the driver goes in, orders a glass of milk and gets tangled in something nasty, something that spills outside, after which the other person in the truck, an old Elvis-impersonator gets involved. It isn’t pretty, and by the time you’re done, there are two things you’ll do for sure ”“close your gaping mouth, and then start wondering about the sequel.
Well yes, cool shit happens in nearly every other comic-book on the stands nowadays, but it takes a special kind of fuckedupness to get this insane. Grampa wears his animation influences on his sleeve, his characters have the near-grotesque look of an exaggerated Loony Tunes cartoon and his story is littered with references to the likes of Popeye and Astro Boy. But what completely blows you away is his panel designs ”“ each almost calculated to not just service the story in the most unique way possible, but also to stand as poster-worthy frames that make you gasp and stare, and stare again. We need a sequel, goddamnit, and fast!