Ten Grand by J. Michael Straczynski, Ben Templesmith and some other fucker named CP Smith

Ten Grand Volume 1 - J Michael Straczynski, Ben Templesmith

As some will know Ben Templesmith is possibly the greatest comic book artist there is, yeah maybe a slight exaggeration but he's my favourite anyway. Written by J. Michael Straczynski, Ten grand opens with a feeling of the dreaded loss as our protagonist Joe Fitzgerald reminisces lost love, Laura is mentioned frequently throughout until we get a flashback of how she died and how Joe died.

 

 

Joe hits Lenny's bar at around two in the afternoon and waits for potential clients to show, people with problems only he can solve and the price for his services yes you've guessed it, Ten Grand. You see ten grand is just enough to weed out the clowns and the whackos and it’s not long before Debbie walks in with the money and a problem so troubling that Joe will do this job for free. Debbie's sister Sarah joined a group called Devine Will, a cult that deals in demonology and the leader of this cult, a man that Joe shot dead two years ago.

 

 

The first comic leaves you begging for more, a paranormal investigator in the vein of John Constantine, a protagonist who died and was bought back to do the dirty work of the Angels and the artwork that makes it so much more.

 

Joe is damned, if he dies a righteous death he will get to see Laura, just for five minutes before he is bought right back, a man stood between heaven and hell.

 

Joe's found the home of Divine Will and he's about to enter, first he waits for Johnny, you see Johnny has the second site, his eyes were taken from him and now he sees only the things the rest of us can't. Ben Templesmiths artwork springs right at you straight away as the dark, bleak tones make way for a view of Divine Will through Johnny's perception, the panel becomes visceral, bright and amazingly blurred, almost like a view through water.

 

 

 You might think the artwork raw, rough even but look a little more carefully and the detail soon becomes apparent, the contrast between violence and sentimentality bought to life with the most vivid of colours, the most twisted of expressions and the darkest feelings and moods. The artwork compliments the dark and grimy city perfectly but what really stands out is the use of the colours to show the different aspects of the story from the present day to the harrowing flashbacks, and a style that lends itself to horror above all else.

 

Fantastic artwork all the way through, there's some amazing panels, not least an angel or denizen of hell constructed in lines of fire. That is until the Temp baled and another artist took over then my jaw hit the floor and the story hit cartoon mode, what the fuck has gone on here then, honestly fucking fuck shitity shit. How to ruin a story by totally changed the style half way through.

 

 

Pissed off, only a little (Mutley style grumbling), Fuck the story can't be bothered now.

 

 

Thud as Ten Grand hits the back of the fucking waste bin, only kidding I might have portrayed a slightly disappointed aura there and yeah I am. LOL