Alright, I love a good anti-capitalist, anti-consumerist, anti-consumption piece of art. It explains why I LOVE movies like Dawn of the Dead, Sorry to Bother You, or They Live. It also explains why I loved the book Everything from Dark Horse. Naturally, my love of anything that critiques capitalism (it's the debate coach in me) I immediately added Shoplifters will be Liquidated by Patrick Kindlon with artwork by Stefano Simeone.
AfterShock billed this book as "Imagine Judge Dredd working for Amazon." And, I can't think of a better comparison. Maybe: "Imagine Pol Pot working for Pottery Barn" or "Imagine Josef Stalin Managing a Sears" or "Imagine if Mussolini owned Macy's." You get the general idea. You may be thinking....did this idiot just pick a bunch of fascists or socialists to review a book that critiques capitalism.....yup....
Our adventure takes place in the Caucasus SuperStore's flagship and home office where the penalty for shoplifting is an on the spot headshot. Why? Because blood oils the wheels of the commercial machine. As you flip through the pages, maybe the all-encompassing megastore is precisely what you want in a chaotic dystopian world. Halfway through one of the clerks yells before killing a shoplifter "You don't want it to be like outside! So don't treat it like outside!" Which begs the question, what is going on in the world outside of the Caucasus SuperStore?
We get a small glimpse into this question in the final page as a man armed with a shotgun falls through a trap door while hunting someone down in the clothing department, but we have to wait until the next one to get a real answer.
There are a couple of things that I love about this book aside from the storyline. First, I'm trying to figure out why some of the patrons of the store appear normal, and why others appear like they are wearing masks. Not some sort of prosthesis, but like, when Buffalo Bob puts on a skin mask of someone else's face. Its eery, and I want to know why it's happening. Is it a condition of the grander world?
Second, I love a directors cut book, the Directors Cut of Immortal Hulk has been an interesting pulling back of the curtain, and you get to see some of those creative baby steps throughout the back of the book.
Third, I'm pretty sure I see something Cthulhu-esque on the final page with the presumed cover for the next issue, and if this book takes on a Lovecraft style turn, this might just be the kind of insanity I need in my life right now.
All in all, I'm intrigued by the perspective this book offers and want to see how it turns and what in the hell is going on beyond the walls of the SuperStore.
The journey of a 30-something father of three who's trying to break into the world of reviewing comics after a loooooong hiatus...