Sunday, July 15, 2012

The Winter Men

Originally slated to be an eight-issue series, this Wildstorm comic book ended up as only five, with a supplementary special.

The Winter Men, in my opinion, is one of the finest comic books ever created. The story written by Brett Lewis is compelling. The artwork by John Paul Leon is mesmerizing. The dialog is the most realistic and convincing I've ever read in a comic book.

It ran from 2005 to 2006. The special was released in 2008. A trade paperback, collecting the run and the special, came out a couple years later. Good luck finding a near-mint copy of that out-of-print trade at a reasonable price. I don't have the trade, and I can't shell out $50 and up for it from Alibris or wherever. I'll settle for my five singles, and I need to purchase that special issue.

From the Cultural Clutter review "Winter's Gone," comes this:

The series is all raggedy noir thriller and political history and devastated personal lives mixed together and rendered in thick lines and thin washes. The details are nice—Kalenov passed out in the snow, Moscow’s mayor threatening to shut off the Kremlin’s electricity, a turf war set to a Pepsi franchise guide. The powder blue translation arrow boxes for all the sepia Cyrillic headlines and tattoos are just swell.

From the Crave Online review of the TPB:

There are so many layers to this book, from Russian history to commentary on American pop culture, that it's easy to ignore the interesting plot that Lewis has constructed. Even without his lacing of intellectual prowess, the plot of Russian gang warfare and a kidnapped mystery girl has enough fuel to burn on its own. However, the thing that solidifies The Winter Men as a truly great book is in Lewis' [sic] consistency with the themes he establishes. Most prominently, our lead character's nickname is "The Poet", and he lives up to that title via Lewis' handy work. There were numerous occasions where I found myself mulling over the select lines of narration or dialog, reveling in their brilliant construction or powerful simplicity. Throughout all six issues Kalenov delivers upon his nickname, and every time it made it just that much easier to understand why the hell this book took so long to come out.'s a good comic. 'Nuff said.

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