Tag Archives: Graphic Narrative

Caustic Soda: Hello the War is Here 1 of 3

7 May

Happy New Comic Book Day!

Late last month, Dan Crosier finished the illustrations through page twenty-four, completing the first issue. Issue one of our three-issue book was then sent to Patrick Brosseau for lettering. I worked with our layout guru and hops-connoisseur, Muana Fanai on layout and print prep. The variant cover by Joe Triscari worked incredibly well, check it out:


Issue 1 will be available in extremely limited quantities and for sale at Denver Comic Con http://denvercomiccon.com/ (June 13-15) and also at the Caustic Soda/Show Devils launch party at Three Kings Tavern, Sat. June 14 (more info on that soon), online at the CS Shop and at San Diego Comic Con.

You can purchase a copy in the CS Store, COMING SOON.

Below you will find a link to a Spotify playlist that captures the scope of Part 1 in sound. Songs by The Stooges, Joy Division, Talking Heads, Wire, Max Richter, Wu Tang, MC5, Baby Huey and more have been part of my ongoing, working soundtrack and inspiration for Caustic Soda.

Rafael Grampá’s “Mesmo Delivery” – A Transportative Debut

12 Feb


Experiencing the graphic novel, Mesmo Delivery, is a physical challenge on par with a bar fight. You don’t exactly know what to expect. You get hit from all angles and you swing blindly hoping to slam into something concrete that will at least help you collect your bearings again. You can smell the blood. You can smell the bodies. Every time you turn the page you encounter an assault on the senses unlike any other you have experienced before in a comic. And when you finish reading it, you walk away with pride knowing you stood your ground and persevered. You leave the experience with the comic tucked in your arms like some trophy dame that recognized you as the last one standing. You leave exhausted and battered and you rush to find someone else to throw into the rumble.

Mesmo Delivery, by Rafael Grampa and Marcus Penna drags you into the story involving Rufo, an as-big-as-a-semi-truck ex-boxer, and Sangrecco, an Elvis impersonator that is as dirty and greasy as his glistening sideburns. We are introduced to the two characters and the basic plot that they are transporting an 18-wheeler of unknown contents to an anonymous client. And therein lies the beauty of this book, its seeming simplicity. The major conflict of the story is fairly predictable; tough guy walks into a bar full of tough guys and fights break out. But, the story combined with the jaw-dropping (and/or shattering) art by Grampa makes it very clear you’re experiencing something that is far from plain.

Mesmo Delivery is the full-length comic debut from Rafael Grampa and he storms onto the scene like a wide-shouldered trucker in a rest stop urinal. The art is unlike anything you have seen prior to the comic. Everything is grainy, dirty, and you will be shocked your fingers aren’t covered in grime from holding the book with such focus. In lieu of trying to find the proper words to describe Grampa’s artistic style, here is a page for your enjoyment:


Fine detail seems to be a specialty for Rafael Gramps as you can clearly see in the reflection of the shifter knob, the wrinkles in the clothing, the grains on the hands, etc. Grampa also displays a keen ability to play with choreography on the page. For example, on page 28 when Rufo takes a boot to the noggin’ he releases the understandable, “mmmmf”, but Grampa details the dialogue bubble almost like a snake slithering out from his mouth and curling up the page. Grampa does this often in the comic where you will see something normal being done drastically different and it takes you by surprise.

Mesmo Delivery became my “go to” comic for any friends who said they are, or want to be more immersed in graphic narrative. The story is engaging with a clever twist at the end.

Sacrifice your body, take the beating, read Mesmo Delivery.

By Randall Lahrman

http://litconic.com -Literature Journal. Contributing Editor

Pick up a copy at your local comic store or order direct from Amazon.

Randall Lahrman resides in San Diego where he is completing his MFA in Fiction at San Diego State University. He spends his free time with his beautiful wife, Cayse, and his daughter, Genesee. He frequents the local comic shop every Wednesday in search for the latest adventures from The Batman, The Goon, Deadpool, Wolverine and many others.


Hickman’s Secret – Gainful Employment

11 Sep

Jonathan Hickman is having a very good year.

One of Image Comics many gifted talents!

Between the schizoid homicidal scientist historical (sci)fiction series, Manhattan Projects and the vintage-modern spaghetti western, East of West, Hickman’s latest, Secret hit shelves recently.

Secret appears to be more refined and subtle, subject-wise, than the other two titles. It focuses on the minutiae of a private security organization and the relationships of it’s members and the family at the heart of it all.

This collab with artist Ryan Bodenheim is climbing my year’s best of list. I’ve reread 1-3 twice already.

It’s a mystery-thriller with some incredibly rendered panels. Check out this panel from Secret #3 – The System.

Three panels in one. Brilliantly composed.


Color is used quite effectively throughout to denote flashback or some other sequence of events that have some significance in the ‘present’ narrative.

If you’re trying to figure out a new monthly to get into or you missed out on Image Comics associate and Walking Dead scribe Robert Kirkman’s Thief of Thieves series, then this title comes with my highest recommendation.

Caustic Soda Kickstarter Launch

2 Jul

Caustic_Soda_2.8.13_4The Kickstarter campaign for Caustic Soda has launched. You can participate in this creative endeavor by contributing and receiving the fantastic rewards we have lined up, including artwork from Daniel Crosier, Sonny Kay, BobRob Medina and Moonlight Speed.

Thanks for your support and please share with friends and family.

LINK to Kickstarter: http://kck.st/13jlAok

Novel Wednesday – NYC2123: Dayender

5 Jun

It’s Novel Wednesday!
This week we’re taking a look at the online graphic novel, nyc2123: Dayender. Intrigue, espionage, and a post-catastrophic tsunami that maroons Manhattan, turning it into a John Carpenter-esque meets Rockstar Games Vice City American Mogadishu.


Written and illustrated by brothers (?) Chad and Paco Allen, the series was released almost half a decade ago and presented as a PSP graphic novel (also available on browsers). It’s cyberpunk with elements of SnowCrash/Ghost in the Shell and Necromancer. The writing is quick, smart and the art has elements of the Scanner Darkly/Linklater interpolated rotoscope. 

Check it out here http://nyc2123.com/