Scalped, Vol. 1: Indian Country (Scalped, #1) by Jason Aaron Download (read online) free eBook .pdf.epub.kindle

Scalped, Vol. 1: Indian Country (Scalped, #1)

Jason Aaron, the up-and-coming writer of the critically acclaimed series THE OTHER SIDE teams with gritty artist R.M. Guera for an intense crime drama that mixes organized crime with current Native American culture.

Fifteen years ago, Dashiell “Dash” Bad Horse ran away from a life of abject poverty and utter hopelessness on the Prairie Rose Indian Reservation in hopes of f

Fifteen years ago, Dashiell “Dash” Bad Horse ran away from a life of abject poverty and utter hopelessness on the Prairie Rose Indian Reservation in hopes of finding something better. Now he’s come back home armed with nothing but a set of nunchucks, a hell-bent-for-leather attitude and one dark secret, to find nothing much has changed on “The Rez” — short of a glimmering new casino, and a once-proud people overcome by drugs and organized crime. Is he here to set things right or just get a piece of the action?

Cover by Jock
Collects Scalped #1–5
…more


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    HFK

    Mar 21, 2016

    rated it
    really liked it

     · 
    review of another edition

    Shelves:
    graphics,
    paidkindle

    My first introduction to Jason Aaron’s work was his hard boiled Southern Bastards series that took me right up in middle of the deep Souths heart. Aaron’s way of telling stories is to go to the darker side of something familiar, give us all the filth and ugliness that not so many dare to admit and explore. But doing so, he has a great sense of respect towards the things he is writing about, and there is always the presence of truthiness within as the stereotypes always come from the realness of

    First volume of Scalped was no exception from the familiar formula I have begun to know, even when the setting is the Indian reservation instead of the deep South. The storytelling is captivating, intriguing, well researched build up to something I sense to be a well done series where each volume will be a part of something bigger than a one could hope for.

    I am looking forward to tackling through the remaining 9 volumes to see was I right or was I wrong. But something tells me, I am not going to be a disappointed fangirl-in-the-making.

    I am coming for you, Aaron. I am.


    …more

    J.G. Keely

    Sep 21, 2011

    rated it
    it was ok

    Thirty years ago Alan Moore changed the face of comics, Watchmen, V for Vendetta, The Killing Joke–we’ve all heard the story before, and I’ve certainly put my 2 cents in. Now, he’s not the only revolutionary comic writer out there: Gerber was writing realistic superhero stories years before Moore, and Milligan has a complex, literary voice to rival Moore’s.

    But Moore is still the great inspiration, the ever-changing, wide-reaching face of comics as an art form. And so he has become a touchpoint

    But Moore is still the great inspiration, the ever-changing, wide-reaching face of comics as an art form. And so he has become a touchpoint, a polarizer, and a target–though hardly one of his own making. As Emerson once wrote, ‘To be great is to be misunderstood’, and I am hard-pressed to say whether dear old Alan is more great, or more misunderstood.

    So, because he is the acknowledged high priest of ‘graphic novels’, and because a lot of people who wouldn’t touch a comic book take great pride in reading ‘graphic novels’, and because one of Moore’s creations is invariably relicensed and remade every year, people seek Moore out. Journalists go to the old wise man on the rock, begging for visions of the future.

    And Moore is every bit the wily hermit, which is why these interviews always turn out the same way:

    Journalist who hasn’t done his homework: “Mr. Moore, where do you see comics going in the future? What are your favorite comic books?”

    Merlin in a black cutoff shirt: “The industry betrayed me over and over, especially the big companies. I don’t really read comics any more, and I certainly don’t follow them enough to have an opinion.”

    J: “Oh, I see. Well, what about the news that they are going to remake [something Moore did in 1987]?”

    AM: “Well, they own it, so they can do what they want with it. I don’t care, but I don’t want to see it.”

    J: “Well, how about the fact that [other company] is going to make a sequel to [some minor Moore story] using old scripts you pitched to them in 1991 but they rejected?”

    AM: “Well, I’m sorry to hear that, I wish that they would stop cannibalizing old stories and ideas, trying to recapture their glory days, and instead to to move ahead with something new.”

    J: “Like what?”

    AM: “I don’t know, how about something that isn’t just a rewrite of work from decades ago? How about they promote a culture of new-thinking, creative talent instead of just hiring guys who grew up as comic fans and just want to tell the same stories about the same characters, stories which are so full of inside-jokes and impossibly complex histories that no new reader could possibly find them interesting? It sounds like nothing has changed since I left, and the industry is still run by people who discourage anything new and push for anything that resembles a successful work that is now old an outdated.”

    Then the journalist publishes the piece as ‘Alan Moore Bashes Comics Industry (Again)” and the internet erupts in another unpleasant shitstorm. People who are tired of Moore’s huge reputation say he’s an old man who is out of touch, and people who buy into his reputation a bit too much say he’s completely right, and that all modern comics are shit. And so we see how reputations are built: both sides misread Moore’s statement and then everyone talks about how he is a saint and/or a bastard, while Moore sits at home writing stuff and not caring.

    Inevitably, people in the industry start putting in their opinion. We usually get something from Grant Morrison about how there are all kinds of great comics out there besides Moore’s, which is true, but since Morrison has spent his career being labeled ‘that guy who is like Alan Moore, but not as good’ (sometimes fairly, sometimes not), he tends to be too close to the controversy to see things clearly.

    And he’s hardly the only one. After reading Jason Aaron’s ‘The Year I Stopped Caring About Alan Moore’, I found myself thinking that someone else in the industry had grossly misread him, taken the whole thing personally, and ultimately, failed to refute any of the points Moore had made about the industry. In fact, his naive lashing-out rather seems to confirm Moore’s concerns.

    Moore contends that the industry does not promote talent. He doesn’t just say that they have no top talent, but that there is no system of writing promotion, whatsoever: “Why are DC Comics trying to exploit a comic book that I wrote 25 years ago if they have got anything?”. But Aaron contends that he has written a story where he, as a character in his own story, is shot in the face by a funny in-joke character who only die-hard geeks remember.

    As any writer from Family Guy will tell you, there is no more creative act than combining violence, obscure references, and breaking the fourth wall–a technique that was already tired when Morrison did it in 1990. Already, Aaron is feeding into Moore’s critique of the industry as worn-out, incestuous, and cannibalistic.

    Then there’s Moore’s assertion that the industry is now run by fans. He’s not saying it shouldn’t be run by people who love comics–clearly, Alan himself loves comics, despite all the bitterness and difficulty– this is more akin to a winery being in the hands of alcoholics: of people who do not want to make the best product, but who want to make something that will get them good and drunk.

    This is supported by Aaron’s own whining assertions that Alan Moore ‘owes him’ for buying all his comics over the years. Now here, I had always thought that the writer repays you in the story, and if you like what he has written, you buy it, and you both get what you want. But in the mind of a ‘fan’, that’s not how it works. The relationship between writer and consumer is personal, it’s an interaction, or as Aaron puts it:

    “But just how has Alan Moore seen fit to thank me for all the support and adoration I’ve shown him over the years?”

    Well, I’d say he thanked you by writing great stories in the medium you love. Not enough? Tough shit. Alan is not obliged to coddle you and be your friend, nor is it necessary for him to read every single author’s work in order to see that the industry is stagnant and backed up, and that, despite the great, undiscovered authors who may be out there, the industry is not embracing a new vision.

    And I’ve been looking for one. There are a lot of comics coming out these days and I wish that there were voices as revolutionary as Moore, Gaiman, and Milligan leading the way to some new period, instead of just aping the past. Instead of Sandman, we have Fables, a pale shadow of Gaiman’s mythic explorations, lacking writing ability, insight, and character. For artistic exploration we have The Nightly News, which is pretty enough, but which has the sort of plot a first-year college student might write while using the term ‘sheeple’ without a trace of irony.

    The Walking Dead is an endless, straightforward soap opera with some passable characterization, but no aspirations to anything greater. Y: The Last Man does have aspirations, but gets lost in chauvinism, cliche, and overly-convenient plotting.

    I could go on. My first thought, after reading Aaron’s invectives against Moore was ‘who is this guy, and does he have any ground to stand on?’ So I looked him up and found he was the author of a few comics, but then I forgot about him and moved on. It wasn’t until much later that I happened to read a highly-recommended book called ‘Scalped’ and then, while writing this review, realized it was by the same guy.

    Well, if Aaron wants praise from Moore for keeping comics alive into a new era, he’s going to need more than this. It’s a rehash of Frank Miller’s Sin City, without the hard-driving, elegant plot. Aaron tries to do a bit of what Moore is famous for: a disjointed story that skips back and forth, but like Morrison, he shows how damned hard it is to do without losing the thrust of the plot. He does have some nice moments and attractive pieces of composition, but they are the exception.

    Then again, the plot isn’t very well-constructed to begin with. He takes a noir bent and lampshades it, calling his protagonist ‘Dashiell’, then writes out a story where everything is confused and uncertain, doled out slowly over time for our hard-nosed hero. But we never get any starting impetus to get us into the story, its all just undefined mystery with the characters jumping back and forth between time and place, trying to get us to our destination.

    Aaron didn’t seem to learn from either Miller or Hammett that you need to stick with something small and palpable to hook the main character, a central personal journey for him to follow as we uncover the larger tale, otherwise it just feels like a normal story with the structure chopped up and reversed to fool us into thinking it might be interesting.

    The dialogue is reminiscent of Preacher: every third word isn’t a swear word and everyone is constantly threatening and insulting one another. Yet there isn’t as much differentiation between the characters, especially in terms of dialogue, so everyone just ends up sounding the same. Everything is loud and crude for its own sake, and the tone suffers.

    Using characteristic, strong dialogue can be a great way to give your story mood and your characters personality, but filling every bubble with as much wild vernacular as possible is just distracting and silly, and it makes everyone sound the same. At some point, you’re going to have to tell a story.

    But this is Sin City on the Rez, and therein lies some opportunity for a new vision–something not already done to death in comics–and which has the added benefit of being able to comment on the long tradition of Western comics. But this is not an eye-opening bit of realism, not a glimpse into the Rez culture. So far, I haven’t seen any details I haven’t already encountered in the cliche depictions of Natives that sometimes show up on TV. This isn’t Sherman Alexie or Louise Erdrich, it’s not even Momaday, it’s just a crime drama with a ‘Native’ veneer.

    It’s frustrating because you do finally have these Native voices coming out in those authors or in movies like Dead Man and Pow Wow Highway, and then to read something like this, which is so reductive. It lacks the self-aware humor which makes stories about isolation and poverty feel human. But then, mirthlessness is a sure sign of an ‘edgy’ comic that takes itself too seriously. Sure, there’s plenty of witless sarcasm, but that hardly adds depth to an already cynical story.

    So whatever Aaron wants from Alan Moore, or feels he deserves, I’ve seen nothing so far to suggest that he’s earned any of it. He’s not in the new vanguard of up-and-coming writers who are going to redefine comics for the next generation, he’s just another guy remaking the great comics of the previous generation.

    Maybe his childish diatribe would have had some more punch if he had some accomplishments to back it up, but as of yet, I’m not seeing it.


    My Suggested Readings in Comics

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    Kemper

    May 25, 2015

    rated it
    really liked it

    Recommended to Kemper by:
    Anthony Vacca

    Dashiell Bad Horse returns to the reservation where he grew up with a pair of nunchucks and proceeds to start whipping ass. This gets the attention of local honcho Red Crow who is getting ready to open a casino, and he gets Bad Horse a job as a deputy where he can legally crack the skulls of everyone interfering with Red Crow’s plans. Bad Horse also has to face his estranged activist mother who is protesting the casino,and there’s also his old flame who doesn’t let a husband stop her from bangin

    This is great crime story with enough violence, blood and sex to be an HBO series. The unique setting of the rez with its population of disenfranchised Native-Americans gives it an interesting backdrop and provides plenty of complex conflicts for Bad Horse to deal with.

    My only complaint is that more people weren’t actually scalped. That’s false advertising!

    …more