The cost of gentrification is explored in this biting new satire where the rich literally eat the poor and desperate. Set in Vancouver (an interesting quirk coming as it does just months after Ed Brisson’s miniseries The Violent, which explored similar issues of poverty and drugs in the same location), it’s a grimy, street-set murder mystery. Albert is a homeless drug addict, but he’s noticed that his friends have started to go missing. The police are blaming it on the increasing number of drug overdoses on the street, but could there be a more sinister reason? Obsessed with pulp noir novels, Albert nicknames himself Marlowe and starts to investigate...
The answer to the mystery is clear from the off – issue 1 opens with a man being pumped full of drugs, then decapitated and left to drain on a meat-hook – so we’re ahead of Albert, but Nadler and Thompson’s script does a fine job of getting into our strungout hero’s head. Zawadzki’s characters have a touch of Charlie Adlard about them, but it’s his almost-apocalyptic – and distressingly real – portrayal of the city that stays with you. There’s some inventive layouts too, while Cunniffe colours the piece with a murky mix of greys and browns that’s so tangibly dirty you may feel like you need to wash your hands afterward.
There’s no subtlety in the metaphor here, but there is a palpable anger at the state of a city both rising in economic value and becoming increasingly difficult for many people to actually live in. Will Salmon
Not quite what we meant by “a night on the town”.