Sunday, March 22, 2009
(In case you didn't figure it out, this is rated mature.)
Jamie Delano is a writer of importance, who writes, oddly enough, in the world of comic books. His work is challenging to people who desire only pabulum, for it creates whole cloth new paradigms and criticizes through fiction existing paradigms. His writing is an equal in quality, or better, to the name talents of the UK and Ireland. Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman, Grant Morrison, Warren Ellis, Garth Ennis, Mark Millar, and Paul Jenkins are all talented, but none write the sort of stories that Jamie Delano does. In his most recent previous work Narcopolis, Delano questioned openly the future where drugs replace moral/ethical choices. He created in it a new language that was born from his perception of the world that would spring around that sort of culture. And some people did not understand it. The drug use was not condoned but it was also not, judgmentally critiqued. And some people did not understand that. Delano’s works do not allow the reader to make simple judgments because he does not.
RAWBONE starts from a premise of Pirates in the Caribbean, but there is so much more. For one thing, pirates were the scourge of the sea, at one time, but Disney, ala Johnny Depp prettied them up into heroes. Delano refuses to kiss the ass of current popular culture. In fact, he loses his foot up that same ass, by making his characters nasty, and, at this point irredeemable. This story is dark and lush, and it plays with our expectations, and makes the Church as evil as the pirates, but, as with most of Delano’s works, there are no simple answers, and the answers you are likely to come up with are at this point, lacking.
From the solicit “Jamie Delano cuts loose on a vicious pirate tale, delivering a bloody, terrifying vision of a world on the high-seas! But these are not the family-friendly kind, these are the roughneck, stealing, heartless bastards of the 17th century Caribbean. A rebellious young women named La Sirena has built a haven for pirates called Puerto de los Suenos (Port of Dreams). It is a good life for those that want to live outside of the crushing boot heel of the Church of England. But the church is a powerful enemy. It expends a lot of its pillaged wealth to bring about the downfall of the pirate scum who are praying on merchant vessels. Thus, the legend of La Sirena’s life will begin, one drip of blood at a time, while the British garrison waits for the pirate to slip into their ambush, tension building as seeming supernatural forces pick off the forces of law one by one, and imagination runs terror through the survivor’s veins.”