Longpig gets the Shift review treatment.

Longpig gets the Shift review treatment.

Grayham Puttock recently mailed me the first for issues of Longpig. It is now up to me to fairly review this grizzly series of comics about some wonderfully dysfunctional, and yet strangely grounded folk, and their rather unusually chewy diet.

In the interest of full disclosure at the time of writing the kickstarter for issue 5 is still active.

As with most reviews I tend to start with the basics. The comics are published on a superior paper stock making the use of the white negative space artist Adam Jakes employs all the more effective. The hard stock covers are extremely impressive. These are very professionally made and produced comics indeed.

Addressing the elephant in the room here, the subject matter in Longpig is not PG rated. What the reader is faced with here is an apparently normal family that have a rather addictive taste for human flesh. With that said Longpig is not overtly graphic. Like Reservoir Dogs some of the more horrific elements are left up to the reader's imagination.

These four issues introduce us to a cast of colourful characters that all seem equally flawed in very different ways. To say too much would be to enter in spoiler territory except to say any sane person may have misgiving meeting any of the cast we have to enjoy. There are perhaps no good guys versus the enemy in the narrative. 

Grayham Puttock's story reads like a gritty urban thriller, his dialogue is naturalistic and almost nails the dialect of the southern states where his tale is set. The precise location seems to be left quite purposefully vague.  As with Puttock's previous writing there seems to be a deep understanding of the natural world, and a slight cynicism in regards to the human race, who on this occasion seem to be literally on the menu.

Artist Adam Jakes does a terrific job of telling Grayham's storyline. There are one or two instances of scene jumps in the early issues that keep the reader on their toes, but once the various characters are established this brief problem soon evaporates. In the first issue Jakes explains how he uses photo reference and models to sculp his pages. There are some fans that find this practice annoying, Greg Land has certainly had his detractors for his tracing work on various Marvel titles. It must be said there is a difference between blatant copying and an artist using every available tool at their disposal to render convincing poses and human emotions. Adam Jakes accomplishes this with some considerable aplomb.   

Colourist Aljosa Tomic and letterer Ken Reynold both carry their own weight bringing the finished pages over the line. The placement of dialogue and captions alike are both expertly handled so that none of the pages feel crowded or overwhelmed.

The four issues are certainly enjoyable when read together with the anticipation of issue five to come. As a reading experience with months between instalments I wonder if Longpig would feel quite so immersive. It must be stated issue four ends with a bold cliffhanger that promises a potentially action packed and suitably blood soaked finale that will surely be worth the wait. 

Issue five is currently at the kickstarter stage and below is a link to help fans realise the conclusion to the first mouthwatering arc of what promises to now be a engaging and tasty ongoing feast for the senses.

Here is the link: 

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