Thursday, February 7, 2008

Dock Walloper

I wanted to love this comic. I really like Ed Burns and his writing style, but to me this comic fell short of my expectations. I know if you build something up in your mind you can be easily disappointed when you finally see or read it. This could be the case with Dock Walloper.

One of the things that really bothered me about this comic is it's simplicity. I know often times one of my delights is reading a simple straight forward comic that doesn't expect you to research on Wikipedia to understand it fully. I thought this was even simple for my tastes. The one thing that Ed Burns is good at is Dialog and well in this comic he doesn't disappoint. When the characters speak they seem awfully really. It's just unfortunate that they don't really have much to say.

The story takes place in a version of 1920's New York city. Smith (later to be Dock Walloper) and his friend "Bootsy" (yeah we'll get to that later) are standing in a line for work at the docks. The dock worker who is doing the hiring realizes Smith is with Bootsy, who is African American and well Smith and the man get into an altercation where Smith punches him through a cyclone fence and smashes his face in.

Meanwhile a Mob member has been watching the proceedings and sees Smith punch this guy through the cyclone fence and nicknames him Dock Walloper. He approaches Smith, now Dock, and asks him if he wants a job. Dock of course says yes and says that if he works, so does his friend Bootsy. The mob guy doesn't give a shit so he hires them both to help distribute booze to the local speak easies. So Dock and Bootsy now work for the mob.

During a routine drop they are intercepted by Diamond Jack and his gang. Jack kills the driver and comes around to the back of the truck to check the back where Bootsy and Dock are riding. Dock and Bootsy are ready for him and open fire with their Tommy guns and kill Diamond Jack. When they get back to the mob boss he is understandably impressed with their ruthlessness and hires them on permanently.

I also read the second issue but I will leave that to anyone who might want to read this five part mini-series. One of the major problems with this comic, at least in my mind is Ed Burns uses the race card throughout the whole comic. Bootsy, what a terrible name, is always called names and harassed throughout the book and Dock has to beat the crap out of them or threaten to beat the crap out of them. This to me seems to easy, yeah you can use the race card cause it would have happened in real life, but don't use it so often.

The story in this book is awfully thin for something written so well. The dialog is spotless and flows realistically throughout the book. One thing that Ed Burns can do is write dialog and it shows here. However he falls flat with a simple storyline. It's a five part series and I have read the first two without much happening. I could be wrong but they better get to something big soon or it's going to be a pretty boring series. The artwork is done very well for the times it is trying to portray.

Artwork - 4 (looks really dirty and dark like it should from 1920's New York, cause I was there)
Story - 3 (the dialog is excellent, but the story is simple at best)


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