Comic: "Loveless: A Kin Of Homecoming"
Published by: DC Comics
Written by: Brian Azzarello
Artist: Marcelo Frusin

Reviewer: Protoclown
Posted: 2/25/2008

Plot: Wes Cutter returns to Blackwater after having been thought killed in the Civil War, and quickly becomes sheriff in his Union-occupied home town.

Review: As a big fan of Azzarello's 100 Bullets as well as the Western genre, I really wanted to like Loveless, because I'm convinced that somewhere inside there lies a good book. Unfortunately, the artwork is so damned confusing that I can't follow what's going on, and because of that I find it impossible to enjoy the story.

Fan's of Azzarello's other work will recognize his trademark gritty storytelling here, as well as his snarky, clever dialog that often carries multiple interpretations. Most of the characters are complete bastards, which is another regular Azzarello trait.

Frusin's artwork isn't bad by any means, but his style is definitely not the best suited for this kind of book. Here's the main problem. Most of the characters are white guys with long hair, beards, and hats that shade much of their faces. Frusin's style tends to be dark and shadowy anyway, and as the series progresses it gets muddier and muddier (MUCH more than you see in these pictures), which makes it nearly impossible to tell which character is which. I had to reread scenes over and over again in an attempt to try to understand what the hell is going on, to no avail.
To make matters even worse, Azzarello tells this story out of chronological order, frequently jumping back and forth in time to reveal details about the characters, but Frusin doesn't give any sort of visual cues that a time jump has taken place. Nothing blatantly obvious is required, but something subtle like a slightly different panel border would be nice.

So not only did I find myself requently confused as to WHO was doing or saying WHAT, but I didn't even know what time period the events I was looking at were occurring. I stuck with the book for fifteen issues because of my faith in Azzarello and my love for the Western genre, hoping that eventually things would start to make some kind of sense, but I finally had to give up out of sheer frustration.

Perhaps you'll have better luck at interpreting the art than I, but I can't honestly recommend this book to anyone, which is a shame because it should've been really good.

Overall rating: WholeWhole
(Scored on a 0.5 - 5 pickles rating: 0.5 being the worst and 5 being the best)

Reader Comments

Crazed Techno-Biologist
Feb 25th, 2008, 07:06 PM
im familiar with these types, everyone looks the effin same and its so hard to tell wthh is happening, and when someone else tells you what happened, it makes no effin sense and turns the story is even worse than you imagined it was from trying to decipher overshaded piles of crap
Feb 25th, 2008, 11:03 PM
Thanks for the the review. I probably would've picked this series up
The Magnificent Bastard
Feb 26th, 2008, 12:41 AM
It's a shame, considering that is really does look like they tried hard to make it a compelling and artistically experimental book. But, in the end, it comes off like they tried too hard, and it got too convoluted.

I love my dictionary!

Anyway, if you really want a good western comic, I recommend "The Ballad Of Sleeping Beauty".
Forum Virgin
Feb 26th, 2008, 12:26 PM
I completely agree. I've really enjoyed DC's western/western style books lately (Jonah Hex especially, but also Bat Lash, Scalped, and Azzarello's El Diablo), but Loveless is a huge disappointment for me. I've read the first two trades, and find i dull and too slow-moving. It doesn't feel like anything's happened yet, and the flashbacks and character jumps only seem to muddle things further. Guess I'll stick with the demon-faced bounty hunter.
The Goddamned Batman
Feb 26th, 2008, 06:03 PM
It's hard to go wrong with Jonah Hex. I picked up the first 20 or so issues of the current book, but I had to drop it eventually because I needed to clean house a bit.