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La Habitacion No. 26 Weighs in on Last Days

Review by Felipe Rodríguez Torres at La Habitación No. 26

The Last Days of American Crime is a real comic “neo-noir” that in many ways reminds me of director Kathryn Bigelow’s excellent foray into science fiction, the little-known at the time Strange Days.

As in the film by James Cameron’s ex, we have a North American society on the brink of social upheaval. It is also set in the very near future with shades of our present age, and we have a dysfunctional couple of protagonists, complete with secrets and appearances that don’t correspond with their interiors.

Remender, actually famous for his work on the mutant franchise with a new collection of X-Force, adopts a high note in his approach to the noir genre, understanding how to play with all its key elements (a tough guy, a beautiful femme fatale, street gangs, sordid environments you can practically feel, much violence and sex soaked in Jack Daniel’s and hidden behind cigarette smoke). But he also adds a good dose of social criticism, with a society that wants to eradicate crime through a signal that inhibits the thoughts of citizens and attempts to get rid of cash in order to control people through credit card payments. Therefore, our trio of outsider protagonists prepare to perpetrate the last and greatest crime in the history of America. An America where crime is as important in popular culture as apple pie, the Statue of Liberty and Mickey Mouse.

But a good script does not work well without a good scene, which is fundamental to immerse the reader in the story. And Greg Tocchini, a Brazilian artist destined to belong to the elite of illustrators, creates a work that can only be describes as marvelous. Each page is a piece of art in itself. His men are hard boiled and his women are the bane of any man. And not only that. With seemingly little-detailed drawing, he knows how to define each setting, each place, each character’s traits, understanding how to give each a distinctive and recognizable touch. And to finish a masterful drawing, Tocchini gives a lesson in how to use color palettes to give depth and texture to your pencils.

Published in its country of origin by independent publisher Radical Books and translated and published in [Spain] by Dolmen Editorial, this is a work that draws immediate attention for its very pulp cover by Alex Maleev. And that is only the beginning, an invitation to a festival of noir that will satisfy even the most intelligent palates. So if you are a fan of Elmore Leonard, James Ellroy, Ed Brubaker, or Howard Chaykin, this is your comic.

Click here to go to this article at La Habitación Numero 26 or click the cover image to learn more about The Last Days of American Crime.

Note: This article has been translated from its original Spanish. If you notice any significant errors, please let us know in the comments section below and corrections will be made. Thank you!

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