September 21st, 2011 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Blah, Graphic Novels & Comics |

Turf Review

by Ghastly McNasty

Turf is a five-issue comic series from Image Comics written by Jonathan Ross and illustrated by Tommy Lee Edwards. I was slightly dubious about Turf mostly because of my pre-conceptions about writer Jonathon Ross. Generally, I think the guy is a legend, despite his well publicised mistakes, as he wears his geekiness on his sleeve and has a genuine love for comics which rare to see from a celebrity. However, I recently read an interview in Bizarre magazine where Ross was his typical over-confident self, spouting simple ideas like he believed he was a creative genius when really he just sounded like a bit of a knob. The premise for Turf feels fairly haphazard itself – Vampires, Aliens and Gangsters in 1920s prohibition-era New York. It almost sounds like the author threw a load of nouns in to a tombola, gave it a quick spin, and choose 4 at random to create the storyline.

The first 20,000 copies of issue 1 sold out on pre-orders alone and that is probably testament to Ross’s likeable personality and fame. WordyWhen I picked up the first issue I was fairly unimpressed by the cover art and as i began to read through the pages was filled with dread by the vast amount of text that filled huge sections of the pages. The text itself also seemed to lack any of Ross’s humour, which I initially felt was a huge loss to the potential of the comic. Very little seemed to happen in the first issue as well leaving me feeling a little cold as I had to put in a lot of work reading for very little reward. At least it takes a while to finish unlike most comics which I can finish in minutes.

I’m not the sort to quit after just one issue so continued to plow on through the remaining 4 issues. I’m pleased to report I emerged from the experience with a different outlook to Turf which I now regard as a jolly good read filled with interesting ideas seamlessly blended together to create a strong and fascinating tale. Sure the whole thing feels oddly paced in places and occasionally Tommy Lee Edwards’s artwork feels a little rushed but for a chat show host’s debut comic it’s pretty darn good.

Anti-hero thug and all round bad-guy Eddie Falco is the series’ main protagonist, amongst a cast of very strong characters, and his journey from malicious thug to righteous hero helps to ground the sometimes bonkers plot. There are plenty of fresh ideas which I throughly enjoyed. Falco’s relationship with the alien Squeed, The Orchard, the slow lead up to the final battle and its climax, Tommy Lee Edwards representaion of the flying Vampires. This comic has a lot to offer. Occasionally the scheming vampires and ‘Nooo York’ gangsters seem a little cliche but when rolled together with a splash of alien they make a unique and intoxicating blend.

There was talk of a movie adaptation to be directed by Matthew Vaughan (Kick Ass, X-Men: First Class) but it’s all gone quiet at the moment. There’s certainly room for a second series of Turf which is hinted at the end of the final issue. Can Ross and Edwards deliver again? I certainly hope so.

Turf Cover Gallery

You can find out more on the Turf website www.turfcomic.co.uk

by Ghastly McNasty

Theatre of Terror



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