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Saturday, July 18, 2009

Comic Book Review: Shangri-La (Image Comics)

"The road to Heaven is paved with dead rock stars."

Shangri-La, published by Image Comics in 2004, written by marc Bryant and drawn by Shephard Hendrix, is a 72 page graphic novella about dead rockstars, record business conspiracies, and contract killers. With cameo appearances by Elvis, John Lennon, Jim Morrison, and other rock legends, this book is a bit more than it seems.

Correy Stinson is at the height of his career, but due to his diva demands he's replaced by a new singer, who rockets the band to new success. Now that Stinson is obsolete, the mysterious Ms. Cope plans to fake his death to promote record sales. When he backs out at the last moment they send Jetta Helm, a hired killer, to take him out.

Too bad she's his biggest fan. When the time comes to kill her idol and frame him for a murder/suicide, she just can't pull the trigger. So they go on the run, which forces the label to up the ante, sending a psychotic killer/failed country singer to clean up the mess.

Throw in a background of rockstars watching the events from Heaven (Shangri-La!) and an Illuminati influenced shadow cabinet and you've got a weird rock'n'roll take on the "assassin on the run with their intended victim" storyline.

The art borders on realistic with splashes of cartoony reactions, and is delivered in well balanced black and white. The story moves along at a good pace, and jumps the less important moments without feeling like you're transitioning too quickly. With a price tag of $7.95 this is a book that feels worth a purchase and solid enough for a few re-readings. Fun, inventive, and a complete story.

Buy this book here!

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