By:Chad Derdowski
Review Date: Monday, August 16, 2010
Source: Mania

Perhaps you read my review of the first volume of Prison Pit, which was released about a year ago, and perhaps you managed to scrounge up a few bucks and found some guts and went out and bought it. If not, here’s my review in a nutshell: the Prison Pit is a vast wasteland populated by monsters and criminals where violence is the only law.

The book is about as disgusting and politically incorrect as you can get. It’s crude, it’s crass, it’s violently absurd and it’s so far over-the-top that they actually had to create a new top after it was released. And with the second volume, Johnny Ryan just went over that top. Long story short: a pussy like you probably couldn’t handle a book like this.

For those of you who enjoyed the first volume, the second is more of the same.

In Prison Pit: Book Two, our uh… “hero”, CF, the blood-soaked and shirtless space barbarian deposited on this desolate wasteland of a planet at the beginning of the previous book, is on a mission of revenge against the evil overlord who took his arm. He ends up getting involved with this robot guy in a scheme to escape the Prison Pit and he fights a whole bunch more monsters.

If possible, it may even be more bloody and disgusting than the first one. Arms are severed, acidic vomit is spewed forth upon enemies and there’s even some poopin’ going on. Yeah dude, poopin’. Poopin’ and cyborgs and jetpacks and monsters and violence. Tons and tons of violence.

Cover art for PRISON PIT: BOOK 2 by Johnny Ryan

I don’t really know how else to say this… most of the time, I try to keep my reviews fairly PG, but since I already called most of you pussies, I have to just call it like it is: Prison Pit is fucking awesome and you really need to read it. It’s a kids book, in the sense that it very likely was something Johnny Ryan created when he was 12 years old, assuming the man was sniffing a lot of glue and simultaneously watching Cannibal Holocaust and WWF wrestling as a pre-teen. The protagonist’s name is Cannibal Fuckface, for God’s sake! This is not a mature piece of work.

On the other hand, the press release for this book compares it to Gary Panter’s “Jimbo” comics and Kentaro Miura’s “Berserk” manga. I haven’t read either of those, but maybe you’ll find that information useful.

I think the point is that for as juvenile and simplistic as Prison Pit may be, it’s pretty clear that Johnny Ryan knows exactly what he’s doing. As for me, I just laughed my ass off the whole time and reveled in the repulsiveness. Prison Pit is not a book for everyone and it very likely isn’t a book for most, but I certainly can’t bring myself to say anything bad about it. These days, a lot of comics aspire to reach new literary heights and just come across as though they’re trying too hard. Prison Pit succeeds largely because it doesn’t seem to be trying at all.

Mania Grade: A
Title: Prison Pit: Book Two
Publisher: Fantagraphics Books
Publication Date: September 8, 2010
Price: $12.99