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Graphic Novel Review

Book Cover

Turf (Hardback)


Author: Jonathan Ross
Artist: Tommy Lee Edwards
Titan Books
RRP: £19.99
ISBN: 978 1 84856 895 2
Available 09 September 2011

New York, 1929: The height of prohibition. Gangs fall like bloody dominos as the mysterious Dradonmir family fights to rule the city and begin to wake the Old One - a gigantic sleeping vampire buried amongst the roots of their mansion. But an unlikely alliance formed between tough guy Eddie Falco and a stranded space-alien known as Squeed leads to an uneasy stalemate. Meanwhile, a strong-willed young reporter, dirty cops and ousted Harlem racketeers all try to survive in the middle of the maelstrom, and it's anyone's guess who's going to win the battle for this particular slice of turf...

Turf was originally published in comic book form by Image Comics, after which it was serialised in the UK magazine CLiNT. I have to admit that when I reviewed #1 of CLiNT magazine, back in September 2011, I was less than impressed with part one of Turf. So, I came to this graphic novel with a slight sense of dread - I really wasn't overly bothered about rereading the first part and then discovering more. I was expecting it to be a long, hard slog. How wrong I was.

There's no doubt that Turf is an acquired taste, and that Ross's style takes some getting used to. But, stick with it as the rewards are worth it. The story mixes your old school gangster tale with elements of gothic vampire mythology and space battling aliens. Yes, Ross tackles all the old cliches with tongue firmly in cheek. What he ends up creating is something that shouldn't work, but does.


Darren Rea

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