Throwback Thursday: A Few Words About Paul Grist's MUDMAN Volume 1

I ran across this copy of MUDMAN Volume 1 by Paul Grist while going through stuff in storage.  Here's my thoughts about it.

The sales pitch:
  • It's the first day back at school for Owen Craig, and it's not going too well. He's been run over, got detention, and his police officer father has been taken prisoner by armed bank robbers. And now his body seems to be turning to mud...!
  • Collects Mudman #1-5.

I should start by saying I am a HUGE fan of Paul Grist. 

His work is perfect for someone who is growing tired of or jaded with a genre, because the minimal style he renders his stories with assumes that you have read enough comics to fill in the details. Grist doesn't waste a line, a splash of color, or a turn of phrase. 

Grist knows enough tricks and narrative hacks to tell a lot of story using very little.  That kind of efficiency is much harder than it looks.

Grist shows off his mastery of the form by leaving stuff out, not by overwhelming the reader with detail. The mastery is evident because there is almost no sense of confusion reading a Paul Grist book, except where he is enacting a character's point of disorientation or mystery on purpose. 

After the success of his expansive world-building Jack Staff superhero series, Grist returned to the genre for Mud Man, which feels more grounded in classic friendly neighborhood superheroics that stays in one place. The exploration here is more personal. The teen protagonist is still deciding who he will be after stumbling into his super powers. 

I don't remember buying this book, but I recently found it while going through things in storage. I couldn't remember ever reading it, so I assumed it to be inferior to his other work. But I decided to reread it anyway. 

It was amazing.

Grist plays with the teen everyman genre, and while it feels evocative of Lee/Ditko Spider-Man, his lovable and mildly rebellious protagonist also has hints of Batman Beyond's Terry Mcginnis.  Grist lovingly plays with the tropes of teen hero comics, while subverting them at the same time.  His matter-of-fact, slice-of-life style forgoes titillation in favor of relatability. Like a true cartoonist, he offers shorthand notes of superhero moments and trusts the reader to fill in details with their own imaginations.

If you need high detail splash pages, femme fatales with lip gloss popping, and med-school-grade anatomy, chances are you will not like Mud Man, or any Paul Grist books, for that matter. 

But if you don't mind seasoning your own food (so to speak), and you want a fresh take on a well-tread superhero genre, Mud Man will probably make you smile. 

My only disappointment is that there doesn't appear to be a volume 2 available. Even so, Mud Man Volume 1 is a fun read, worthy of your time.

Samax Amen is a professional Content Developer, Illustrator and Cartoonist. He is the artist of many great comics you never heard of like FREELANCER LIFE, Herman Heed, Champion of Children, and The World As You Know It. He even writes and draws his own comics, like Dare: The Adventures of Darius Davidson, Spontaneous, and Manchild when he gets around to it. Because making comics is hard and stuff, he started GhettoManga as a blog in 2006 and as a print magazine in 2008.  Samax is currently the Art Director and Assistant Manager on THE MELANITES for Born Again Thugs Industries, LLC, and a contributing Artist on BIGS from UPCHUCK COMICS.
THE MELANITES follows a pantheon of super powered beings that take an interest in the development of Earthly society, and the response of human gangsters, civilians, and authorities to the presence of these mysterious demigods. Whatever their origins, the Melanites have landed for better or worse.
Written by Tyger Ra-Seth Moore and Corance Davis.  
Art by Pitch
Cover by Owen Charles
Full color
Instant Download
+ Print Copy, plus extras

Samax Amen is proud to present his new book #FreelancingFAIL, a series of articles, comic strips, and illustrations about the common mindsets and habits that hold artists, writers, and other freelancers back.  More importantly, in this 70+ page e-book, Samax shows you how to overcome them and thrive!
Full color
Instant Download
ON SALE - $4.99

Buy Now

No comments:

This Post Brought to you by

Zero Killer TPB

This post brought to you by

This post brought to you by
Support GhettoManga + Save on Books = WIN

was that it? find it here