Four stories await you in this week's sale. If you like generations of crime that impacts families from father to son and down the line, you'll find plenty to like here.
It starts with "The Passenger," a story where a newlywed couple visits Italy. Driving through the country, the wife is kidnapped and the husband is pressed into service by a local mafia don to drive him where he needs to go, and to help him take care of a few things along the way.
It's almost Hitchcockian in that "common man getting pulled into a bad situation." Things take a sharp twist in the second volume, but not before the motorcycles, machine guns, and helicopters come out to play.
It's a good warm-up for the rest of the books in this sale.
"Sherman" is up to volume 5 in English, with a sixth to finish off its initial cycle soon to come. It's the story of a father whose life starts to fall apart after his son is assassinated during his run for the office of President of the United States. You'll see certain echoes to the Kennedy family along the way, but this book goes even further..
The story flashes back to show the father's rise in the finance world in pre-World War II New York City, as well as the fallout from the assassination in the president day, just a few years after the war. With every book, new twists in both stories bring them closer together. It's a great family soap opera, as we learn about how Sherman's dealing with a German businessman inch him unfortunately close to the rise of the Nazis, and how this past comes back to haunt him, as an unknown villain tries to destroy his wealth and what's left of his family.
It's a real page-turner of a book, both a thriller and a melodrama told with flair.
"Escobar" is the biographical tale of Pablo Escobar, the Columbian drug kingpin of the 1980s. It starts at the point where Escobar is thrown into a jail that he winds up controlling, and follows the story all the way to Escobar's end. Escobar is a fascinating character, and his story is a classic case of real life being stranger than fiction.
While the story closely follows Escobar's empire as he runs it from prison, it also features a couple of American agents who are keeping tabs on Escobar and working out a way to bring him down, at last. A lot of international politics wind up figuring in on it, and the painted art style gives it a dreamy kind of realism.
Of all the books in the sale this week, though, "Bearskin" is my favorite. It's the only single album story in the lot, but it tells a compelling and heartbreaking tale all at the same time.
The prolific Zidrou writes about a gangster at the end of his life telling his story to his helper, a young kid in town who visits him daily to read the horoscope. As he tells his life story to the kid, you can see the parallels and why it is the old man might enjoy the kid's company. It's a tragic story, in some ways, but all of his own making.
It's a tight, 62 page story that draws you in and won't let go. The art from Oriol is stylish and compelling. He has a very angular and colorful look that actively tells the story. There's not a dead moment in the book.
Augie De Blieck Jr. (https://www.pipelinecomics.com/)