Sunday, July 3, 2022

Brendan McGinley:

Quisque Comoedum Est

A story that is part allegory, part parody, and all smart, Vatican City, Las Vegas may be one of the most sophisticated comics to come out of the 21st Century. Stagger into a world where Karl Marx is a homeless man living in a bathroom, and a Chinese drag queen impersonates Marilyn Monroe; meet also Thomas Carlyle, a drunken malcontent living out his last hours in Vegas, and Jesus, the man who cleans the dirty toilets.

Vatican City, Las Vegas

Probably the smartest comic of the 21st Century. Vatican City, Las Vegas is… sociology, theology, cosmology, ontology and more filtered through literature, history, economics, and a pseudo-mystical casino run by papal mobsters and owned by the all-seeing eye of God (“Jones”), whose many cameras and faceless intercom direct the span of human experience.

Thomas Carlyle boozes his way through lost loves and broken dreams, while T.S. Eliot worries about double-crossing the Lord or getting his bones broken by Pope Salvatore Medici. Oh, and Jesus cleans bathrooms and doesn’t say a word. It reads like some insanely literate, epic MAD Magazine “Behind the scenes…” piece, and makes one wonder why there’s not more buzz on writer F. Rex and artist T. Wolfinger.

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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