TURF #1 Review - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: B

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Info:

  • Title: Turf #1
  • Written by: Jonathan Ross
  • Art by: Tommy Lee Edwards
  • Lettered by: John Workman
  • Published by: Image Comics
  • Publication Date: April 7, 2010
  • Price: $2.99
  • Series:

TURF #1 Review

"Ross has written with obvious enthusiasm"

By Chris Smits     April 08, 2010
Source: Mania


TURF #1 Review
© Mania

Ever wonder what New York City of 1929 would be like if you mixed prohibition and vampires? Yeah, me neither. It's lucky for any and all curious readers that Jonathan Ross did, though. Taking place in the winter of 1929, Ross' vision of New York City is populated with an immediately broad cast of characters; ranging from a newspaper writer looking to break out from her society column to the immigrant family who have a more exotic thirst than the illegal liquors of the day can satisfy. There are Mafia Dons and speakeasies playing Jazz. There are nasty characters on the take and a corrupt system that preys on the weak.

And there's also a spaceship.

Which makes this kind of so damn crazy that it just works seamlessly. I kid you not.

All of this adds up to the fact that Jonathan Ross proves himself quite the storyteller with his debut in comics. Accentuated by the fantastic artwork of Tommy Lee Edwards, Turf creates a gritty atmosphere of days gone by. In the ways that history likes to romanticize the tommy gun era of the past, Turf sticks to that feel while also adding in timeless elements of classic horror and science fiction. Ross' imagination seems to have almost overflowed into this book; the proof of which being the fact that there is literally so much text to read that it's almost unbelievable to see it written so expansively in a modern comic book. This one is definitely not streamlined with the amount to read but yet it still maintains a good pace, largely due to the fact that it has impeccable layouts on every single page.

It has to.

The sheer amount of words contained in every panel make it an amazing accomplishment that it never interferes with the artwork or the flow. Sure, it's noticeably more labor intensive to read, but this becomes a good thing; a pleasant change of pace to the way most books these days are slimmed down for the fastest run-through possible. This is where the credit to Jonathan Ross' storytelling skills comes into play. You hear the narrative in your head as if someone is telling you the events. Characters develop quickly because of this and the dialogue is natural and real. Though it's only the opening issue to their tale, Ross and Edwards have created a charismatic cast that command the attention in each of their respective scenes.

Cover art to TURF #1 by Tommy Lee Edwards

The biggest selling point of this book (with the art being a very close second) is that while reading it you pick up on the fact that Ross has put a lot of thought into his story and followed his idea up with just as much effort into writing it down. Yes, it suffers just a bit from almost being "too wordy" at times, but with the way his effort shows here, it's impossible not to view this as a good problem to have. Jonathan Ross has written with obvious enthusiasm, Tommy Lee Edwards backs him up perfectly and I'm calling these guys a perfect match for comic books.

Also of note here; this is the most bang for your buck I've seen in a comic book at $2.99 in a looong time! That alone is justification for anyone out there that enjoys a story of the fantastic to pick this one up. Seriously, this could have easily been a $4.99 book at one of the other companies and is exactly the kind of project that deserves a reward from all of us grumpy readers that are going broke reading these things.

Turf #1 gets a very solid B grade  and I'm eager to see what else is headed readers' way in issue number two.

COMMENTS AND RESPONSES

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jedibanner 4/8/2010 10:13:14 AM

got the issue to give it a try...haven't read it yet but, looked interesting, hope it's a fun book.

ChrisSmits 4/8/2010 1:37:16 PM

I went back, re-read it and decided that I liked it even more upon the second reading.

jedibanner 4/8/2010 1:42:49 PM

It's nice to see some new comics like this and give it a try.

Radical Publishing is the one place where I'm always willing to give a shot to their comics and sometimes, Image will come out with something interesting like this book also.

calhob 4/8/2010 3:15:31 PM

Image is the best!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Walking Dead

Invincible

Astounding Wolf Man

Chew

and now Turf

ChadDerdowski 4/8/2010 7:51:55 PM

I give Image a lot of credit for giving a lot of really interesting ideas a shot.  They aren't all Walking Dead or Invincible, but that company takes a lot of chances and puts out a lot of great stuff.  Radical... I'm not entirely sold on them.  I've found them to be more miss than hit, but they do give you a lot of bang for your buck.

As for Turf - good stuff.  I picked it up because I love Tommy Lee Edwards and old-timey historical stuff.  Throw in vampires and aliens?  Yeah, I can dig it.  And I did!  Not sure if I want to pick up the next issue or just wait for the trade though.  Either way, I'm in for the long haul.

jedibanner 4/10/2010 11:01:38 AM

Hey Chad,

Well, I just finished reading it and, I think it's a solid B rating but, the only thing buggin me out of all this? The aliens. I think if it was just the vampires and the 1920's, it would be excellent but, the aspect of adding the aliens in there...not sold on yet. BUt it's a fun read.

As for Radical, I like their ideas and love their art in there. FVZA is a good book and the art is very nice but what I like the most? You get a lot for your dollar. The book is like 5$ but, it's 48 pages and almost no ads and lots of good art and stories. Image is good too but, it's more hit and miss for me. Chew? Meh....WDis good but, it's running it's course in my view.

Anywas, at least it's fun to try new things other then Marvel.

ChadDerdowski 4/11/2010 7:44:46 AM

I agree, jedibanner - Radical gives fans a LOT of reading for their money.  It's basically like buying two comics for the price of ... like, one and a half comics.  I'm afraid it'll break their bank, but I love the way they do things and I wish Marvel & DC would take notice.  Better yet, I wish READERS would take notice and demand that the big two lower their prices!

I'm still diggin' Walking Dead, though I would've agreed with you about it running it's course a few months back.  Chew started out really strong, but it's kind of just plodding along at this point.  It's by no means bad, but ... meh. 

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