Review: The Guys #1

On a recent CBMFP I talked about a book from Tryptic Press called The Guys. I felt that I didn’t do a very good job in describing the book. So hopefully this review will do it some justice because this title deserves it. In Plano Texas, six friends gather at their local watering hole, laying out plans for the tonight’s “re-up” or in laymen’s terms to pick up a load of drugs to distribute in the city. Leo does the foot work by picking up the drugs in Dallas. While the other guys act as distributors and move the “weight” to their respective clicks or groups.

As the group goes their respected ways, Leo is making his way back from Dallas with drugs. Everything is going off without a hitch until the law pulls him over. In a desperate move he loses the drugs and gets away.

Meanwhile, Barber makes a connection with a local contact that can “up” their drug. Doing so makes it easier to move and keeps out the big city competition. Basically it changes the lay of the land a keeps more of the action in Plano.  Later on the guys meet back up and Leo and Barber introduce the rest of the group to their plan to really make some money this summer. Let’s just say that’s when things start to get really interesting.

First off the strongest aspect of the book was its dialog. I really felt that cast was honest in the way they conversed with each other. Sure they all played their parts in the pseudo stereotypes that made them more manageable for the reader but it worked. You never feel that the guys were “always on” and Rosales didn’t force dialog out of everyone just to give that character something to say.

TG_Cover_smOh and I never once thought to myself, that these characters would never hang out with each other. This is a story telling aspect that ensemble books seem to mishandle all of the time.

Narrative wise, The Guys has a flashback style of storytelling that I’m not always crazy about. Where the reader meets the guys when they’re older and then they follow the story as one reminisce to a point that leads you back to the start of the narrative. To say that this does or doesn’t work for this story is a little premature due to the fact that I haven’t read issue two and the fact that I’m just being picky.  Regardless most of your time is spent with the group in their younger days.

Art wise, Monsta takes some interesting liberties with the panels that are visually compelling. For instance, when Leo is reaching out to multiple panels as the narration is taking place is insanely cool and very original. There’s also is a conscious effort to use a different technique and presentation between the younger guys and the older versions.

Overall I was really surprised by how much there was to enjoy with The Guys. It has a lot of interesting things going on and it’s presented in an entreating way. If anything, it’s instilled the fact that I need to stay the hell of Plano Texas.

Score: 4/5

Writer: Lawrence Rosales

Artist: John Cardinal aka Monsta

Price: $2.99

Publisher:  Tryptic Press