Tripwire’s editor-in-chief Joel Meadows reviews Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips’ Pulp original graphic novel, out now from Image …
Writer: Ed Brubaker
Artist: Sean Phillips
Colourist: Jacob Phillips
Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips are a creative team like no other in comics. They first collaborated in the early 2000s but it was their work on Criminal which really crystallised their unique talents and their chemistry as creators. Pulp is a standalone 80 page graphic novel which sees them follow aging pulp writer Max Winters as he attempts to find a new purpose in life. We are introduced to him as a writer of schlocky pulp westerns but he does have a hidden past. But I am not going to spoil the experience here by revealing anything about that past.
Pulp is an eighty page story which manages to pack more into its seemingly brief page count than many series succeed over a multi-issue run. It is a real lesson in economy. Phillips, ably assisted by his son Jacob on colours, turns in another visual virtuoso performance and Brubaker’s script displays just why he continues to be one of the best-regarded writers in comics to come to prominence in the past twenty years. Pulp brings together cowboys, Nazis and written ephemera in a way that seems easy but Brubaker weaves all of these elements together with a rare skill. He instills Winters with a fragile humanity while still making him the flawed heroic protagonist who sits at the heart of this tale.
It seems that the pair are switching to publishing their next few projects as standalone graphic novels and Pulp is a piece of work that showcases the pair still at the peak of their creative powers. The colours by Jacob Phillips are also the perfect match for his father’s linework. Pulp is a great original graphic novel created by two of the finest modern comic practitioners.
Pulp is out now from Image Comics