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"The Killing Jar" Comic Review

Written by James Ferguson

Published by A Wave Blue World

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Written and lettered by Justin Zimmerman
Illustrated by Russell Brown
2020, 224 Pages
Graphic novel released on August 26th, 2020

Review:

Dystopian fiction is a weird genre right now because we're basically living that in some areas of the world. That doesn't stop new stories shining through. The Killing Jar delivers a new take on those left after society has crumbled. A handful of survivors struggle to pick up the pieces and avoid trouble as gangs roam the countryside. In the case of one young woman, all she wants is to keep her and her younger brother safe. That's easier said than done. She'll have to pick up her dead father's gun to protect them.

Writer Justin Zimmerman introduces us to a vast world in The Killing Jar. This feels lived in. You really soak in the history of this land without sifting through a textbook. Much is implied as to how we got here and what the current status quo looks like. You fully understand the troubles facing these characters and the hoops they have to jump through just to stay alive.

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Artist Russell Brown's work aids this with some impressive pencils. The characters are very expressive and the details are out of this world. There are some panels that are filled with so many minute lines that you have to check to make sure they're not photographs.

Although the line work is very impressive, I have to wonder what The Killing Jar would look like if it had even a dash of color. Its stark black-and-white presentation may put some folks off. There are a number of factors that play a part in a decision like that, but I think even some yellows and certainly red for all the blood would really take this book to the next level.

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While there's a lot to take in with The Killing Jar, it can stagnate at times. This clocks in at over 200 pages and there are chunks of the graphic novel that are basically treading water. Do we need this many pages to tell us these gang members are bad guys? No, because we just saw them kill an innocent man on the side of the road. We get it.

The Killing Jar showcases a very possible and chilling reality. That certainly adds a level of tension to the reading experience. While it can be a little slow at times, there's more than enough to dig into. It's an eerie post-apocalyptic western with all the bloodshed that goes with a crossover like that.

Grades:

Story: Twoandahalfstars Cover
Buy from Amazon US
Cover
Buy from Amazon US
Art: fourstars
Overall: 3 Star Rating

About The Author
James Ferguson
Lord of the Funny Books
James has a 2nd grade reading level and, as a result, only reads books with pictures. Horror is his 5th favorite genre right after romantic comedy and just before silent films. No one knows why he's here, but he won't leave.
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