Broken Lines Book One by Tom Pappalardo
Well, this isnâ€™t a comic exactly, and itâ€™s not a short story exactly either. Itâ€™s mostly a short story with comical interludes thrown in, but what a story it is. I canâ€™t remember the last time I was this impressed by a story where I had no real idea whatâ€™s going on. It starts innocently enough in an all-night diner with a cowboy and a man in a spacesuit eating dinner. Their waitress canâ€™t work up the enthusiasm to be too curious about them, and things proceed slowly for a bit until Maggie ends up having to get a ride home from these two. After they part ways, Maggie meets a group of demons from hell dressed as firemen (firemen make fires and kill people, firefighters are the ones who put them out, you see) before eventually ending up back with Cowboy and Spaceman and their silent friend, Vampire. She joins them on their journey across the country, trying to make enough money to survive along the way, while being chased byâ€¦ well, weâ€™re not sure what. Nor do we know where theyâ€™re going or why theyâ€™re going there. None of that matters even a little bit, as an engaging cast of characters (I havenâ€™t even mentioned Myron or the Vampire Hunters because why not leave a few surprises for you?) and a constantly funny dialogue keep things moving even when theyâ€™re stuck doing inventory in a grocery store to make a few bucks. Spaceman is possibly a small retarded child judging by his actions, Cowboy is the stereotypical cowboy except with a clumsy streak, and I donâ€™t have the slightest idea what Vampire is yet, except that he seems to have given up drinking blood. What can I say, I was mesmerized and damned sad to see the last page of this book. Itâ€™s projected to be the first of four issues, so at least thereâ€™s plenty more to go. I canâ€™t recommend this enough for those of you who donâ€™t mind a lot of really wonderful text thrown in with the pretty pictures. Oh, and Thomas did most of the drawing himself, except for a page each by Mister Reusch, Jason Goad and Matt Smith.