honour among punks

I recently purchased a copy of the graphic novel Honour Among Punks, by Guy Davis and Gary Reed. The story is set in an alternate reality where 20th-century England basically never left the Victorian age because World War I took place on much lesser scale and World War II never happened. Technology did not advance as rapidly because, to quote the introduction, “there were no great wars to propel the development of new weapons and all the ancillary benefits that come from military research.” In other words, it’s like steampunk in reverse. I’ve just started the book (airplane reading, so I don’t know when I’ll have time to get back into it until the semester ends), and it’s a little rough around the edges in terms of storytelling, but it’s fun.

Guy Davis is one of my favorite artists, and I first became addicted to his work when reading the now dearly departed Sandman Mystery Theatre, back issues of which are available in many comic book stores at bargain prices. You should buy them in the groups of four issues by which each story arc was published. It looks like Honour was Davis’ first published work, and as the five “acts” progress, one can watch his style mature and evolve. Davis creates incredibly detailed panels with lots of cross-hatching, and yet sometimes things are suggested by a few simple lines rather than delineated fully. Davis’ work is in the same vein as work by the much more famous Frank Miller, but I think Davis tends to work on more interesting projects.

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