Written By: Jason Becker / Illustrated by: Jon Rea / Published by: Archaia / Format: Paperback / Release date: Out Now
When Detective Zhu apprehends notorious child-killer Richard Pickman he enters a deranged world of supernatural noir, littered with dead bodies and populated by testosterone-fuelled cops with foul mouths and pump-action shotguns.
The story riffs on common tropes like the supercop on the verge of retirement and the struggle to balance the needs of a new family with the needs of the police force, but this is a world where demons are very real and hungry for blood. With a visual style heavily-influenced by revolutionary artists like Bill Sienkiewicz this is a dense, luscious book, with more happening in the margins than most Marvel creators can currently fit into single issues. I gather that Killing Pickman was influenced by an H P Lovecraft story but I’m not a big fan of the man, and luckily this didn’t at all detract from my reading of the book.
The art and story gel brilliantly to create a world where Pickman’s evil influence permeates the page-layouts, where characters say one thing and think another. Killing Pickman is not the most original story that you’ll read this year but it has a savage edge that reminded me of Welcome To Hoxford, heralding an aggressive new creative force. The density of imagery in Killing Pickman also offers serious re-readability, making it a story that you’ll be happy to return to.