I imagine that Walk is a bit like the first time someone read Sin City; to witness a world being constructed. A world that was just as interesting as its main character, but could exist beyond the character in the same way that Sin City becomes bigger than just Marv. Walk is honestly easy to sum up. It’s like Running Man, with a dash of Death Race mixed with Sin City. It’s incredible and possibly one of the most entertaining stories I’ve ever read in comics. The story follows Garrotte, a man that’s been sent to the “Tower of Justice” because the men in high towers didn’t like some of the things he did; basically meaning that the people who control society didn’t feel his actions fit with their plans. The “Tower of Justice” is not only a building/prison, but is also a TV show. The prisoners advance the seventeen story building and if they reach the top they get their freedom. Of course it’s not that simple. In the Tower it’s kill or be killed and Garrotte is really good at the latter. Walk follows his legendary walk through the Tower, taking a different level each day.
The story is narrated by Garrotte, but there are other narrative devices at work. When Garrotte gains momentum the men in the high towers get nervous and begin thinking about what they’re going to have to do in order to make sure that Garrotte doesn’t gain his freedom. Not because they want ratings either, they’re actually scared shittless of him and living in fear of their own lives should he make it out. The other narration comes in the form of dialogue and TV interviews. The announcer for “Tower of Justice” gives us that over the top TV view-point of everything happening and appropriately enough Garrotte dubs the announcer “Pig Fucker.”
The writing is sharp. I know that you hear “seventeen floors” and you think that it’s just going to be the same thing over and over, but you don’t actually see Garrotte on each floor. The story jumps and manages to give key elements of the plot or character development with each jump. On the surface this is a basically just a Gladiator style story; fight and you’ll win your freedom, but Stefano Cardoselli and Stephen Nelson have made it about so much more.
The entire story is ripe with social commentary. Practically everything said and all of Garrotte’s thoughts are parallel’s to our own society. Sure this story is ultra-violent and I mean ultra, but it’s very much like Rollerball (the original) and RoboCop (also the original) in that regard. The violence is meant to show how desensitized we are to the violence. It’s also there because it’s awesome and entertaining as well… it can be both. You could look at this story as one boss fight after another, but the charm is that there’s so much more to it and a world is being constructed at the same time. I would love to read more stories set in this world because all it takes is a different character fighting against the men in high towers to be successful.
Cardoselli’s artwork is incredible. On a personal note I’m a huge fan of his art style, but I know that it’s probably not for everyone. His style is very detailed, but then he also watercolors his work which covers up some of the details. A lot of the times it’s just ugly, but I find that beautiful. Cardoselli loads the page when it comes to the visuals and often times sneaks in Easter eggs like “Hell” written on Garrotte’s chainsaw. Does it need that? Will we see it in the comic again? Nope, but it’s awesome. Cardoselli’s artwork is dynamic and more importantly he doesn’t follow what some would call the traditional rules of comic books. There’s intensity to his artwork that excites you while reading the story and that’s really rare for modern comic books to accomplish.
This issue is actually the result of a successful Kickstarter project and it just makes you happy that Kickstarter works. I wish I knew about this project than because I would have supported the shit out of it. I don’t know if there’s a larger story for this world that Cardoselli has in mind, but I couldn’t get over the fact that it reminded me of any number of Sin City stories. I hope that there is, but if not it’s one of the best one-shots I’ve ever read. Period. Check it out so we can get more of this world and just more from Cardoselli in general.