Pow! To the People 05.02.11 | A Killer Story for a Killer Hangover

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Eddie fights through the fog of the morning after with Liar's Kiss, the tale of a hard-boiled detective on the lam after his dame's husband turns up dead.

 

 

Pow! To the People logo by Carlos Gabriel Ruiz.

I’ve recently moved to Berlin. A lot of people move to Berlin to fulfill some sort of hedonistic, freewheeling, bullshit hippie, out-all-night, party lifestyle fantasy. Not me. I like to go to bed early. I moved to Berlin because whenever I’ve visited here in the past, the pubs have been full of delicious beer and good conversation, and I really like the bread they make in Germany. So when my girlfriend and I were looking for somewhere to move to together, it seemed the ideal place.
 
Despite my aversion to any sort of nightlife, I do seem to have been dragged into staying out past my bedtime on quite a few occasions since I’ve been here. Most recently was because I was hosting Rock ‘n’ Roll Bingo with my friends at a place called White Trash. Rock ‘n’ Roll Bingo is like normal bingo, but instead of crossing off numbers on a card as they are shouted out, you cross off songs as they are played over the PA. It is my job to act as a sort of bingo caller, giving clues to the songs and seeing how people are coming along at crossing off the songs that have been played. I’d never done bingo calling before, so I used a lot of booze to ‘help’ me get into the role. I woke up the next day with the dark fug of a massive hangover blunting all my senses. I discovered that this is the best possible state in which to read Liar’s Kiss.
 
Liar’s Kiss is a detective comic book written in a Raymond Chandler-esque noir style. The story is full of clichés. The main character is a hard-talking, drunk, sleazy detective trying to unravel a murder he has got himself too involved with. He gets slapped by crazy women, the police don’t want him sticking his nose in, his assistant has a crush on him and he gets roughed up at one point by someone attempting to scare him off the case.
 
Instead of being annoyed by these clichés, I found myself enjoying them. I recognized them as familiar through the haze of my hangover, and that felt like a reward. To be fair, you can’t really write in this genre without walking down some already well-worn paths, and (to me at least) Liar’s Kiss had just enough knowing self-awareness to get away with using some recycled ideas.
 
I hope claiming that this book is good hangover reading isn’t derogatory in any way. The stark drawings in black and white were perfect for my bloodshot eyes and the twist at the end was just clever enough to surprise my white-noise-filled throbbing brain, but not too complicated for me to have to read back through the book at any point.
 
I enjoyed Liar’s Kiss much in the same way that I enjoy watching Columbo or Quincy when I’m in a similar hungover state and can’t find the remote to turn the channel. I hope they compile a book of very similar stories that I can keep by my bedside for every time I wake up feeling like I’ve been poisoned the night before. | Eddie Argos
 
In this edition:
Liar’s Kiss (Top Shelf)
120 pgs. B&W; $14.95 hardcover
(W: Eric Skillman; A: Jhomar Soriano)

Click here for a preview of Liar’s Kiss, courtesy of Top Shelf.

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