Ok, this could be a short one, because I finished this book about a week ago, and I just haven’t been able to get in the mood to write about it. It’s not because the book wasn’t good – in fact it was great. I guess I just haven’t been in a writing state of mind lately. Don’t worry – it’s not you, it’s me. 😉 Anyway, I’m going to bang this one out right here and now, and apologies in advance if it’s too succinct (or just plain sucks).
So tonight I’m talking about Scalped, Vol. 6: The Gnawing, written by Jason Aaron, with art by R.M. Guera (acting solo this time). If I’m brief here, at least there’s plenty of previous opinion about this series to be found on this blog. So let’s do it!
As I’ve said before, this story is awesome. The premise and setting are awesome, and the characters are badass and complex. And awesome.
I’ve been lately working my way through Breaking Bad (the TV show) on Netflix Instant, and if you’re a fan of that show, then you’ll enjoy this series. There are a lot of parallels: drugs, sex, violence, deceit. It’s just plain dirty, guilty fun.
So what specifically about Vol. 6 is so great? Well, we discover that even more parties than previously thought are aware of Dashiel’s secret employment as an FBI agent. That ratchets up the tension about 1000%. Also, Red Crow makes some incredibly stupid split-second decisions in regards to his problem with the Hmongs, which bring that situation to a spectacular head (and puts him right where Special Agent Nitz wants him). Plus there’s a midnight manhunt, a double-double-cross, a serious ass-kicking, naked chicks doing coke, a torturous cold-blooded murder, and the most fucked-up love story you’ve ever seen takes a turn for the worse.
Basically, everyone in this story that you know and have come to love in some sick way ends up in a worse situation than when the book started. And that is why I love this story. It is a horrific, graphic train wreck in slow motion. Who could look away from that? Not I!
The Gnawing is illustrated entirely by R.M. Guera, and I for one couldn’t be more pleased. No offense to the other guest illustrators that Aaron sometimes brings on, but Guera’s work is by far the best in my opinion, and has really become part of the DNA of this story in my mind. It’s just not the same when Guera’s not drawing. Peanut butter and chocolate.
It’s hard to believe, but this series just keeps getting better and better. I don’t know how long they can keep up that escalation, but I hope it’s a long time. And frankly, I have no reason to doubt Jason Aaron’s abilities. I’m starting to sound like a broken record, but I don’t care, cuz what I’m saying is true. Read this series. It’s incredible. Read this series. It’s incredible. Read this series. It’s incredible.
And so I’m giving Scalped, Vol. 6: The Gnawing a big old 9/10. She earned every digit of it.