Sunday, July 3, 2022

Brendan McGinley:

Quisque Comoedum Est

Hard Story earns its name in this tale of a murderous pimp and a vulnerable hooker who fall in love in a concisely brutal tale of obsession and second chances. Then, Raven Gregory and Tommy Castillo team up to tell the first of the back stories behind each of the gruesome murders in the 1995 movie, Se7en, starring Morgan Freeman and Brad Pitt. Brendan McGinley reviews.

Hard Story

Hard Story doesn’t start at the beginning of the story in order to show how brutal the world that lies in store is. It doesn’t close at the ending in order to spare its reader the pain that waits there. As the book asserts, the story doesn’t have a happy ending, but there is a point or two of cessation where we can leave our protagonists with a measure of peace in spite of what they deserve or haven’t earned.

A murderous pimp and a vulnerable hooker fall in love in a concisely brutal tale of obsession and second chances. Horacio Altuna writes this uncompromisingly wonderful piece of nastiness, and Jorge Gonzalez brings it all to life with art that both caricatures and depicts reality.


The behind the scenes tale of the murders in the film Se7en leads off with the glutton whose death opens the investigations. Writer Raven Gregory tells both sides of the tale, with the killer stalking a man who has made food his God, and the obese man who views the trappings of his flesh as more demon than deity. In the midst of self-loathing and resolve to lose weight, the fat man picks food over fitness one final, fatal time.

It will be interesting to see if Gregory tries to humanize less sympathetic victims, like the greed or pride murders. Less convincing are John Doe’s musings on why his subject deserves to die. Of course, Doe is wrong, but here it’s difficult to see him buying his own argument. Tommy Castillo pencils directly beneath colors by Mark McNabb.

Brendan McGinley is a long-time writer for ComicBase. His comic favorites include anything featuring Grim Jack, Punisher, Guy Gardner, Green Lantern, or written buy Evan Dorkin, Grant Morrison, Alan Moore, Deadpool… and the list goes on. But he insists he is of discriminating tastes.

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