A Fistful of Pain

by Louie Joyce and Ryan K. Lindsay

Published by ComixTribe.

Buy it on eBay HERE.

Beautiful to look at.

A Fistful of Pain has lavish printing details, a wonderfully rendered matte finish cover. It has scads and scads of hardcore, hard edge fighting scenes rendered in a semi-abstract style.

It also has a truly difficult story line and almost no plot.

A tale of brother and sister.

Brother and Sister, Xin and Sloane, are part of a heritage of a family in the Far East (it starts in the city of Melbourne, Australia). They are the stewards of dragons, which emerge from ancient ice fields. Some are good, some are not. We start with a childhood drama where they are in a small boat. Sloane goes overboard and tangles with a dragon who will eat her. Xin dives in after to save her. The dragon is killed, and apparently there's a big to-do about this, as dead dragons need an explanation from 'the council elders' or something like that.

Fast forward, there's a fight on a ship. Xin is watching Sloane mix it up with a big guy then an army of either robots or heavily armored guys. Then there's more about dragons. And more fighting.

As a large, sharp edge graphic poster this art book works. As a story it doesn't so well. Most writers will agree that excessive exposition can hamper the action of your story. But the extreme idea of that, taking out all the exposition isn't a good idea either. You got to have some grounded area for which the reader can get their bearings. AFFOP doesn't do that, it eschews plot development in favor of action scenes.

A coffee table book.

On one level I can see where Louie Joyce was trying to go for. Any number of chop-socky Asian cinema movies you could drop in the middle and find your hero (usually Bruce Lee or Jackie Chan) going full on martial arts fighting against the bad guy -or the bad guy hordes. You could argue a case that these types of action-heavy movies could do without a story, or even a script. You would be just as entertained. Movies however have motion, movement and choreography to carry through the visual aspect. Comics are hampered by being limited to still images. Plus AFFOP is so bold and brazen, each page intentionally clashing with the rest of the book, you're going to have a hard time developing a visual rhythm to take the place of exposition. You got to tell a story, and this book falls a bit short.

Still, real cool to look at. More coffee table book than Comic Book.

Next Tuesday:

Would you believe another ComixTribe publication? This time

Sink Cutthroat

by John Lees.

Tim Larsen

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Felton CA 95018