Michael's Reviews > The Last Days of American Crime

The Last Days of American Crime by Rick Remender
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May 17, 11

bookshelves: graphic-novels, review
Read in May, 2011

This one's basically a heist story set in the near future. The American Government is about to start broadcasting a secret signal that will make it impossible for any American citizen to commit a crime. Remender deliberately ignores even trying to explain how it's going to work. Small time grifter Graham Bricke doesn't know, so we don't need to know either. Anyhow, the secret signal doesn't stay secret for long, the info gets leaked and chaos ensues. Everybody either riots, goes on a lawbreaking bender or tries to get the hell out of Dodge, to such a degree that the Canadian and Mexican border guards get the shoot to kill order. Graham Bricke has a plan. He's going to carry out the last great American crime. The book starts off with Bricke about to get his brains splattered all over the floor - he's bloody, beaten and resigned to being the next dead man on the road to Hell but thinking of his personal Heaven. But this is crime noir so you shouldn't be too surprised to be dragged back two weeks on the next page. Truth be told, initially I couldn't care less if he lived or died. He's just another scumbucket... isn't he. It takes a while to learn the whole story as Bricke assembles his crew.
Greg Tocchini's blood spattered art is great on the first issue. He's always looking for new angles to liven up the scenes. Sometimes it's like we're spectating through a hole in the ceiling, next were peering up from a littered floor. He does the whole shebang too, keying the colouring into the tone or the mood. As we go through the issues though the quality and care start to decline. Compare the art in issue one to the final issue. Deadline pressure? Who knows. I don't know much about the production history on this one. The story pays off though. It's brutal in places, filled with some seriously twisted characters most folk wouldn't lose sleep over burying them in cement but Remender and Tocchini won me over in the end.
If you think a 3 issue book is too short... well, don't worry too much. These were published by Radical. If you've had any of their comics you will know that their standard issue length is more than double the industry standard. Now that isn't a crime.
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