Mesmo Delivery.

October 31, 2011

I don’t really have a lot of extra money to waste on extra bullshit.  I basically make enough to pay rent and buy a lot of eggs, coffee and protein powder.  I did, however, order this sweet ass comic book off of Amazon the other day.  I know what you’re thinking, “Really, Ben?  Amazon?  If you were really into the scene, you would’ve walked into an actual, independently owned establishment and bought it with the change that you collected while playing guitar and reciting poetry in front of a liquor store.”  True.  And before I quit my job working in a cubicle so I could get yoked full-time and moved out of my parent’s house, I actually was a frequent customer at comic book shops and record stores all over Sacramento.

My usual spot was Metropolis Comix.  Chris, one of the owners made it really easy on us older guys who were busy with jobs (and getting yoked) by setting up an e-mail subscription system.  He sent us the list of what would be coming in, we sent him back our orders of what we wanted.  I wish I could do all my shopping this way.  Anyone who knows me knows that I hate malls and shopping in general so the mere 15 minutes once a month was a perfect set-up for me.  I even had my 1st and only art show at that store.

Me. Being all artsy and stuff.

But I digress.

The book is called Mesmo Delivery, by Rafael Grampa.  Grampa, himself, is a São Paulo artist who is relatively new to the comic industry but has a background in design in animation.  MD is his first solo work as an artist and writer.  Personally, that was a major selling point because that tells me that he created this book just for the thrill of creating something.  And honestly, you can see his enthusiasm for his work on the creatively laid out panels and the shocking action sequences.

I would put something more shocking up, but I wouldn't want to ruin it for you.

The story is an interesting take on an otherwise cut and dry story archetype.  Archetype(s) rather.  Grampa pays homage to a number of different influences; so much so that the reader is left feeling like he learned a little bit about Grampa himself.  It’s one part Cowboy bar scene, one part samurai movie, one part mystery and the rest is a bloody orgy of violence and Tarentino shock value.  The whole scene would’ve probably taken about 15 minutes.  Rufo, a tough guy ex-boxer takes a job transporting some mysterious cargo.  He is escorted by a really mysterious and equally creepy over-the-hill Elvis impersonator named, Sangrecco.  Rufo makes a quick pit-stop at a bar (cowboy style. I love bar scenes), orders some milk and then shit goes DOWN.  Seriously, the pages that follow are ridiculous.  If you’re a fan on Tarentino or Robert Rodriguez movies, then you’ll probably like this.  But if you were at all squeamish while watching Kill Bill, DO NOT BUY THIS, YOU WILL BE OFFENDED.

Rufo. During the classically styled, cowboy bar scene.

The art itself is fantastic.  Like the self-righteous music nerds who like their jams to sound more, “analog,” I find myself looking for work that looks more, “organic.” But a lot of times in the mainstream books, the art is so processed and digitalized to perfection that you can’t even tell that the drawings are done by hand anymore.  It just looks like a bunch of gradients and Photoshopped eye candy (which is cool in it’s own right).  But with this book, you can see the excitement in the artist’s hand.   You can see the carefully etched out pen work how it was meant to be seen.  Grampa’s style is kind of dreamy but also very grounded and realistic at the same time.  The characters are drawn very caricature like, with their defining traits plainly put on display in their figures.  The scenery is bleak and grounded by the amount of signage throughout the book.  The action sequences are juxtaposed on top of song lyrics with some of the most creative use of paneling and angles that I ever seen.  In short, the art rocks and there’s tons of personality throughout the book.

My friend, Will D once told me that “the best art is done for the sake of the art itself.  The same can be said of weightlifting.  For most people, it’s a means to an end.  But when done for the experience, it becomes a means unto itself.”  That’s the first thing that came to mind after reading this thing over for the 1st time.  I’ve said before that I’m a fan of anyone that makes their passion a priority, so I find myself to be a fan of Grampa.  Not that I want to sound like a presumptuous piece of shit, but I think that MD was created for the same reason that the heaviest weights are lifted, because he enjoys his craft.

Unrelated. Check out his badass Batman poster.

That’s how Batman should look: like a big, combat effective ninja detective.

Anyways, at 9 bucks, MD doesn’t exactly break the bank.  And if you’re a fan of good pen work and just a little bit sick and twisted, then you’ll most likely read through it a few times.  You can also buy it off of Amazon so you’re friends won’t know that you read fucking comic books.

5 Responses to “Mesmo Delivery.”

  1. Rufo is almost as yoked as you bro. What do you think he curls?

  2. bclaridad said

    Judging by the power of Rufo’s straight right, about 200kg.

  3. Daniel said

    I never got into comic books, but I completely agree with you on actual pen strokes vs. computer generated art. Each is great in its own way, but seeing the human touch is what makes my favorite compositions memorable.


  4. Jordan said

    Very cool man. I bought some Overbai lunch sketches based on one of your posts.

    Looks like Ill be picking this book up as well, love the art style.

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