08th Jun2017

Needle in a [Comic] Haystack #3: ‘Grindhouse’

by Tara Marie

needle-comics-haystack

Hi! Welcome back to the Needle in a [Comic] Haystack, where I tell you all about the incredible and awesome comics you’re missing out on because there is a literal ocean of them. Today we’re going to deal with a series written by Alex De Campi, with art by a bunch of different artists, called Grindhouse.

Do you remember the old grindhouse movies? They were blackspoiltation films, women-in-prisons flicks — things that were titillating, slapped together, and, well, very grindhouse-y. People have tried to emulate these old movies for years, most of the time not doing a very good job. Perhaps the most famous example of this was the Grindhouse Double Feature by Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino. That’s another part of Grindhouse flicks – most of them were double features.

Which brings us to De Campi’s excellent series. You might recognize the writer. She’s done tons of comics: No Mercy, a fabulous Image comic; My Little Pony, the kids series; and even Archie Versus Predator, about the old-fashioned teen meeting the deadly hunter from outer space. She has a lot of range and brings all of that to Grindhouse.

The series is an anthology, dealing with different stories in each issue – all of them very Grindhouse-esque. One story is about women in prison, in space (yes, like Bitch Planet except more grindhouse-y and less preachy). That one is perhaps the best example to look at it – it has all the tropes you’d expect: beautiful, naked women being lewd, and copious amounts of gore. But it’s still an amazing comic. It also, unlike Grindhouse films of the past, manages to be inclusive and respectful of everyone that actually exists, unlike the sometimes prejudice Grindhouse movies of the past. There are characters of different races, genders, and sexual orientations in the Grindhouse series – and it still manages to be off the wall batty.

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It’s no-nonsense, pedal to the metal comic about all the junk your parents warned you not to watch. And, god is it good.

While each story is different, all of them stick to the same tone – that of an awesome Grindhouse special. If you’re a fan of midnight special, Vampira, or B-movies – this will be one of your favorite comics ever. If you’re not, still check it out because it’s one of the best written comics around; and the art is always stellar. Be warned though: this comic is not for the faint of heart and if you get squeamish around seeing too much of the outside (or insides) of people, chances are it isn’t for you.

As for the cool kids, c’mon, get this comic. It’ll make your parents mad.

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