Pulp fiction and comics go hand in hand. The original pulp magazines from the early 20th century were known for their exploitative nature and their often-shocking conclusions. This transferred over to comics in their early years, and that pulpy style is seeing resurgence in contemporary comics. Up and coming writer Jeremy Holt teams with fellow rising star Chris Peterson to deliver the nostalgia-filled one-shot, “Pulp”, that captures the mood and essence of original pulp magazines. “Pulp” delivers a lightning quick story about the dangers of obsession that will leave readers shocked with its brutal truth.
WRITTEN BY: Jeremy Holt
ART BY: Chris Peterson
PRICE: Pay what you will
RELEASE: Out now
“Pulp” is a simple story about an author who holes himself up in a secluded cabin to get cracking on his next hit novel. Two storylines are interwoven throughout, but it’s difficult to say when either of them takes place. In the end, it doesn’t really matter because they collide in a way you won’t see coming.
On a broad level, “Pulp” is a story about the dangers of becoming obsessed with desire. However, at its core, it’s a story about the curse of being a writer. Let’s face it, writers are a particular breed that sometimes like to be alone so they can brood with all their deranged thoughts, and this gritty tale captures that stereotyped essence to a tee. For anyone who has laid pen to paper, or fingers to keys, the ruthless final pages will hit like a sledgehammer. The final reveal is a violent one, and exactly what you would expect from an R-rated pulp story.
Jeremy Holt’s writing comes to the forefront in this one-shot. He manages to interweave the two storylines with a furious pace. Holt ensures that the last panel of a sequence always transition seamlessly from one setting to another, until the worlds finally collide.
Holt focuses on sound effects throughout the issue. I don’t generally take the time to appreciate a good sound effect in comics, but this book shows Holt’s ability to create the illusion of sound in an otherwise silent medium. And that silence is equally potent in “Pulp”. The minimal dialogue makes for a quick read to drive you headlong into the punch line.
Due to the fast paced nature of the story, “Pulp” is an extremely speedy experience, but I think it is best read by taking the time to bask in Christ Peterson’s art. While his style isn’t exactly what you would expect from a pulp story, his beautiful single-color illustrations capture the feeling of dread and isolation that the story demands. Peterson’s exterior establishing shots are detailed and emotive, giving the secluded cabin a life of its own. He also manages to capture the film-noir style with the harsh lighting and the blue and yellow wash.
“Pulp” is available online now as a “pay-what-you-will” digital story. If you love gritty, pulpy tales that deliver, it’s worth your time and money. Plus, you get to support some rising indie creators who do it all for the love.