HEADS UP! There is a panel I used that drops the F bomb.
Random Acts of Violence (2010)
Writers: Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin Gray
Art: Giancarlo Caracuzzo, Paul Mounts
Letters: Bill Tortolini
Cover: Tim Bradstreet
Random Acts of Violence is a 72 page one shot graphic novel that was originally a project on Kickstarter (see last article). When the project was successfully funded, Image Comics published the creator owned work.... and here we are! This book is also under the PaperFilms imprint, which chronicles the work of Palmiotti, Gray, Mounts, Amanda Conner, and Frank Tieri. I mentioned this before, but you can download a PaperFilms sampler on Noisetrade (and it's as easy as clicking here.) This is clearly a well thought out passion project and I am thrilled that it was able to be published.
The Writing and Story
Random Acts of Violence tells the story of Ezra and Todd, a comic book writing and drawing duo (in the order I just mentioned them) that has created a horror comic titled Slasherman. As soon as the first issue comes out it is a cult sensation, spawning cosplays and fans quicker than people die at Crystal Lake! Before they know it, Ezra and Todd are going on a cross country signing tour for their title. All is well until the second issue come out, and they try to incorporate the fans. Bodies begin to pile up, and eventually the creative team find themselves and their loved ones in danger.
Palmiotti and Gray weave a cinematic tale that will terrify and excite all readers. Though it's not the longest book, this story is able to provide a great deal of detail about the world and the characters it captures. The book is a perfect length because you will NOT want to put it down. The caricatures of the comic industry and it's fans is humorous and fun while the deaths provide a level of uneasiness and fear that is felt throughout the entire story. Palmiotti and Gray have an exceptional handle on the consequences of cause and effect, and how one mistake and a little too much character worship can be disastrous.
Mounts and Caracuzzo set the atmosphere perfectly with their gradiated color scheme and expressive/satirical character models. The main action sequence is intense and you can never be sure who is actually going to emerge victorious. There is definitely something to be said about the powerful and strategic use of blood, as well as the colors which really give it meaning. The team does an exceptional job of capturing the small towns which Ezra and Todd visit, as well as the characteristics and actions of those that live there (minus the murder... probably).
The Bottom Line
Random Acts of Violence is a welcome entry to the slasher horror genre as well as an interesting look at the creative process. The creative team on this book formed a well crafted story that moves at breakneck speed. Putting a project on Kickstarter can be a daunting and ambitious endeavor, however this graphic novel is a prime example of how awesome the payoff can be! This trade is $6.99 and available at all the regular online shops. Pick it up, especially if you enjoy good books.