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‘Seven Holes for Air:’ Advance Graphic Novel Review

Seven Holes for Air is a graphic novel produced by Bill Paxton (as in, “Game over, man!  Why don’t you put her in charge!”) and Arcana Comics.  Written by John McLaughlin, who has worked on such movies as Black Swan and Parker, he is also the comic writer for Youngblood (Image Comics).  Why a screenwriter, you ask?  Turns out this comic was a movie sent to Paxton for which he’d play the lead.  Paxton was busy and stuff (maybe he should have taken the Batman role?  Too soon?), but loved the script . . . so he produced the comic.  John McLaughlin was a screenwriter and comic writer, so voila!  I imagine (This is all my conjecture.) that’s how it happened.  Bill, if this isn’t correct, email me.  The artist, Mick Reinman, is also a movie guy – it looks like (I went online and shizzle.) he did art for 21, Love Streams, Galaxina . . .

First, let’s start with art.  Mick Reinman, who I now know as a storyboard artist first, is pretty friggin’ good.  The art in the comic is gritty and in your face.  The pictures are not anime, and they are not clean cartoons; they are a mess of colors and lines that give the graphic novel the personality that is required to enjoy it.  You see, the comic is a gritty, spaghetti western which somehow meets the movie Lakehouse.  Yep, that movie about love letters across reality or whatever. (I never saw it.)  Anyway, the art is the real deal.  I liked it, and it cemented the character of the graphic novel quite nicely.

Writing. Billy Paxton was right: it’s a good story.  Or stories?  There are two.  Anyway, Bill is a steelworker facing troubles in modern-day America (‘MERica!).  Bill is a cowboy homesteader facing imminent terminal eviction by the railroad companies.  The graphic novel follows both of their stories in tandem, showing powerful parallels.  It’s not earth-shattering as an idea, but this one works really well.  Like truly well.  See, you’re following Modern Bill, and the events that take place give hints at what Cowboy Bill is about to face on the next page – and vice versa.  It’s clever and actually does an amazing job of engaging the reader.  Really well done.

Bill Paxton, as a producer . . . um.  Aside from say, “This is great – make a graphic novel!” I’m not sure what he did, but his name is on it.  So, nice work?   Anyway, I’m glad they didn’t put Newt in charge, as I thoroughly enjoyed this book.  I recommend buying it for 2 reasons: (1) it’s good, and you’ll like it.  Remember, it’s gritty, spaghetti western-y, though, so don’t be surprised. (2) If you ever see Bill Paxton, you can pull out your graphic novel for him to sign.  He’ll be so impressed, he’ll ask you for a beer . . . but you don’t drink, so you’ll have club soda.  He’ll regale you with stories of Hollywood and decide that you, young Jack, have moxy.  You’ll be the star in his next film, and your best friend Paul will be super jealous.

So, buy it for both of the reasons above.

Simply Jack, Fanbase Press Guest Contributor



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