W – Michael Moreci/Gary Dauberman
A – Zak Hartong
C – Addison Duke
L – Jim Campbell
Have you ever wanted everything that is wonderful and glorious about late night drive-in grindhouse cinema all smashed together into something you could sit down with and enjoy on your own time? Have you ever longed for that gritty, dirty, over the top entertainment but not want to potentially waste a couple of hours due to the venture being “a bad one” of the genre? Good news for you folks. Mall #1 gives you exactly what you want. Taking all that is right and good about the exaggerated take the newest book from Vault Comics allows you sit down in your favorite spot and go on a twenty minute grinder ride. You will feel like you’re in the bed of a truck, a lawn chair, or your friend’s car watching a flick your parents probably said no too … and you’ll love every second of it.
See, shopping is a bitch and then you die. Kind of. But not really. For whatever reason the last of humanity has wound up in a large shopping mall after the end of the world. Honestly, it’s kind of fitting given the vanity and consumerism driven way that society has shifted. The 80’s excess was just a warm up for the out right unnecessary that exists in our every day lives now. The creative team does an excellent job of creating this overly zany and eccentric representation of today’s society by borrowing from previous gaudy representations in entertainment media. For instance the factions the Mall has broken into is reminiscent of The Warriors. We aren’t just being given recycled ideas though, so don’t get the wrong idea. Rather, the creative team borrows cues and uses hints from what’s come before in order to allow the reader to get comfortable in the reality that resides within the pages of he Mall. It IS over the top, zany, sometimes funny, and a fast paced “flick’ of a book. All of that is ok though because within its pages you’ll have zero issue believing any of it. You’ll actually be engrossed and buy right into it. That’s how good this team and this book is.
Mall has a whole heaping pile of social commentary bleeding off of its pages. The book however, does not slap you in the face with it. The vast majority of it is subliminal or done through representation that you, the reader will come to on your own. Mall’s genius is in the bringing forth of these realizations that the reader will do on their own. Realization is where true understanding comes from. Once you flip through a second, third, and fourth time you’ll continue to pick up cues, hints, and signs that are right there in plain sight that will drive home another layer upon each of the re-reads. For me the biggest takeaway is our reliance on status. The Mall itself is a status symbol and also holds within it, infinite measures of. The world ends and where does the last bit of humanity end up? Come on folks. Beyond that though, if you’re paying attention to the entirety of the book, you’ll see much more on this theme. Within the factions there are ‘ranks’ among the members visibly distinguished. Importance is placed on how they choose or are made to dress. The physical representation they take on in regard to their faction also plays out the desire for status.
That isn’t all you’ll find at the Mall. No, no dear reader. That was merely the most pervasive and intricately woven thread in the first issue (to the point that the narrative literally begs the question about what the people would do if the Mall was lost). Metaphors for capitalism, consumerism, and even that which we attach to for our own sanity abound within the pages of Mall. #1. I did say that this was over the top, zany, sometimes funny, and fast paced. It absolutely is. You’ll feel the same kind of rush and excitement as you would if this were up on that drive-in or grindhouse screen. The action and characters ooze off the page in both a creepy and poignant fashion. With everything going on we must not forget that we’re dealing with a murder mystery/frame job. I mean yeah, sure there’s the end of humanity and factions of people that have taken on the attitudes, behaviors, and even physical appearance of their chosen store in the all saving Mall (oh looky, another shot at today’s society) but we’re on a quest to figure out why our main character woke up next to a dead body. Obviously on purpose, the body is of one of the faction leaders. Needless to say that in this post-apocalyptic world in a mall, that just ain’t kosher. With the eclectic and ‘if slapstick were serious’ cast of characters providing commentary on who we were and where we came from we’ve got to Hardy Boy the case of this dead body. That’s going to be plenty hard when all of what’s left of humanity is hunting you inside what’s essentially a fish bowl.
Come for the sleazy (but not) feeling of b-movie cinema and stay for the commentary. Follow the unbelievably over the top characters in the somehow believable romp. Allow yourself to fall into the world before you.
Nothing like a trip to the Mall to set your priorities straight … take the trip this NCBD – AUGUST 28TH!!!!!