From left to right: Pete, Joe and Earthling, Anna, and Max.
Meet Joe. He picks locks.
He picks his nose. He has a fat cat (Earthling J.J. Catingsworth III, or "Earthling" for short) that, with a shot of "cat juice," can do just about anything Joe needs him to. He's back in his hometown of King City
after two years training to be a catmaster, and things get weird from there.
A very strange
comic in 12 issues by Brandon Graham. Originally published by Tokyopop
, then by Image Comics
after Tokyopop ran into trouble.
This series provides examples of:
- Awesome McCoolname: Maximum Absolute.
- Bad Dreams: Max's PTSD from the xombie war mostly manifests as vivid nightmares.
- Bigfoot, Sasquatch and Yeti: The spy hotel Nowhere is run by an aging sasquatch, Lukashev.
- Body Horror: The drug "chalk" eventually turns users into more chalk, bit by bit.
- Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs: In a conversation between two of the hazmat/drug dealer guys. One of them gives a list of suggestions including Chinese food and hookers; the other one suggests Chinese hookers.
- At a different point, various shady types try to sell Joe drugs, knives and sex; the last one offers him "a drug knife you can have sex with".
- Chalk Outline: This is all that's left by the time Max finds out Tooth is dead.
- Covered with Scars: Max has many Frankenstein-looking scars, including one right across his face.
- Did Not Get the Girl: Anna doesn't go back with Joe.
- Eldritch Abomination: The Demon King Chi-noc-Tok. A mass of tentacles with too many eyes, it can drive people mad just from seeing it and explode heads with its mere presence, and that's in its incomplete state.
- Gangster Land: King City is overrun with competing spy gangs.
- Green-Skinned Space Babe: The "water girl" looks quite human other than being blue, having a tail, and tentacles for hair. Quite a few other species of these are known to humanity; the Racquet Club runs a sex-slave trade in space babes.
- Fingore: In both cases where we see a chalk user turning into the drug, it starts from the fingers. Tooth breaks one off to sell to Max: "Just means it's fresh."
- Hijacking Cthulhu: It's not quite clear what happened in the ending, but this is implied. Mudd throws his cat at the Demon King, the cat's shown giggling to itself inside the mass of tentacles, then we see the Demon King with a cat-like head.
- I'm a Humanitarian: Joe and Pete spy on the Eye Focus eating human flesh at their creepy restaurant.
- Intellectual Animal: Earthling doesn't talk, but he's probably smarter than Joe. He solves Rubik's Cubes at blinding speed as part of his training and we frequently see him doing some sort of geometry problems in his spare time (when he's not sleeping, anyway.) This appears to be the norm for catmasters' cats.
- Leg Cling: Anna and Max do this pose on the second issue's cover.◊
- Master of Unlocking: Even without the cat's help, Joe can break into a "famously unbreakable" vault without a hitch.
- No Name Given: The Illendovian girl's name is never mentioned.
- Painting the Medium: The hazmat crew's speech bubbles look like offical forms, with a series of checkboxed options.
- Shout-Out: Pete and Anna's last names, respectively, are Taifighter and Greengables.
- World of Pun: a characteristic of Brandon Graham's writing style.
- Wretched Hive: The city is full of gangs, covered in graffiti, with no visible law enforcement, and a map seen in one chapter has several body dumps marked on it.
- Zombie Apocalypse: Happened in Korea; 63% of Koreans are said to be undead at the time the comic takes place. They're called "xombies" here.