May 23, 2018

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Doug Peach Reviews The Beef 4 by Starkings, Shainline, and Kane


The Beef #4
Published by Image Comics
Plot/Script/Letters: Richard Starkings
Script: Tyler Shainline
Art & Colors: Shaky Kane
Design: John Roshell
Nada Grande Y Gordo: Francisco Bustamante

“A Biochemical Romance”
“Tainted Love” Part 4: Cowboys & Indians

When I saw #4 of a series that had Shakey Kane’s name attached to it, I had to pick it up (along with the first three issues).  Trying to review this book is counterintuitive but I’ll give it my best.  At first look, Kane’s art can be seen to be very pop sensible, with bright colors and a dynamic gut punch.  But when you read it, Starkings and Tyler’s story adds an unnerving aspect that permeates every panel that you might miss without it.  The humor of the book is mixed with a dismal audacity for maximum resonance, allowing the book to tackle current political matters like immigration, environmental and health problems tied to our consumption of meat, our treatment of animals, misogyny, police corruption, and dumb fucking redneck violence.  Imagine an artist akin to Mike Allred adapting a film by David Lynch and you’re in the right ballpark.

This is a comfortless, somber masterpiece that can still make you laugh. 

You can just grab this issue and be fine.  Dive right in.  But I can’t imagine anyone not immediately getting caught up for the conclusion next issue.  In a perfect world there would be one of these mini series every year from these creators.