A History of Violence

Author: John Wagner
Artist: Vince Locke
Titan Books
RRP: £6.99
1 84576 212 6
Available 23 September 2005

It's just another quiet day in small-town USA, until a couple of wanted killers walk into Tom McKenna's diner looking for trouble. When Tom gives them more than they bargained for, he and his family are thrust into the kind of white-hot media spotlight that attracts a lot of attention - and questions about Tom's past. Is he really an easygoing small town guy, or is there something more...?

A History of Violence is a little like Max Allan Collins's Road to Perdition. No, wait. Don't go rushing to fire off an e-mail asking me what I'm waffling on about. Stick with me while I explain.

Firstly both collections are in black and white. Then there is the fact that both deal with someone who (in this case it may be mistaken identity though) was once involved with the Mob, stole from them and is now living as a fugitive from them.

Part of the appeal of this collection is the fact that you spend most of the time uncertain what Tom is accused of doing that was so terrible, and whether it is a case of mistaken identity or not.

At the end of the day, this is a story that actually grabs you and thrusts you into the action. You do actually come away caring about these characters. Being able to relate to comic book characters is all too rare these days (mainly as the majority are superheroes). A History of Violence tells a tale that could easily happen to anyone you know, and that is part of it's charm.

Certainly worth spending the ridiculously low price of £7 on.

Pete Boomer

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