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book review:

Prison Pit

Prison Pit is the first book-length work by renowned scatological cartoonist Johnny Ryan, and while it may be his most “mature” work to date, it’s still far from serious, so don’t fret all ye Ryan fanatics. The book takes Ryan’s love of cuss words, cartoonish ultra violence and bodily fluids and transplants it into a barbarian epic on some sort of alien hellhole. The unnamed main character is an interplanetary criminal exiled to the titular prison pit, where he’s compelled to dispatch anybody or anything that gets in his way in the bloodiest manner possible.

It’s a combination of Basil Wolverton­influenced insanity with the most over­the-top pro wrestling, a Gwar concert and Eastwood’s Man With No Name. Prison Pit is grotesque, lewd and a thumb in the eye to the “comics are serious art” crowd. It also happens to be a hell of a lot of fun. The book is hilarious proof that Ryan can take his style of work to a completely different level. Bring on part two! (Matthew Daley)

by Johnny Ryan, US $12.99120 pgs. Fantagraphics Books Inc. 7563 Lake City Way NE Seattle, WA, 98115, USA

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