The eponymous Razor Bastard, like his namesake, is a reprehensible scallywag with all the good grace of a dung beetle. Decked out in a gimp mask, trench coat and switchblade (a look inspired by a film poster Johnson ogled as a kid) and pottering about Japan’s Red-Light District, he ends up crossing blades with a psycho killer (and his pigs) even nastier than him. The angular art style evokes Gabriel Bá and shares the same misanthropic scuzz as some of the more morally questionable titles on the DPP’s notorious list.
Its affiliation to the video nasty is much more rooted in the grindhouse resurgence á la Hobo with a Shotgun. Indeed, it’s quite a knowing, modern fare that only exists in nostalgia rather than tandem. Razor Bastard sees Johnson indulging his own unadulterated, undiluted idea, proudly sticking two fingers up at the easily offended and the faint of heart. It’s not pretty, it’s not particularly entertaining, but it might just be your cup of spinal fluid.
RAZOR BASTARD #1 / WRITER & ARTIST: PAUL JOHNSON / PUBLISHER: BEAT THE DEMON COMIX / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW