CROSSED 3D Volume 1 hard back graphic novel
Writer: David Lapham
Art: Gianluca Pagliarani
Published by Avatar Press
Review by Stewart Loud
A stand alone short story graphic novel released after the original 6 issue Crossed mini series by Garth Ennis telling the story of a small group of grizzled, well armed fighters on a suicide mission to rescue a medical team and their supplies who’ve become trapped in a skyscraper in the centre of New York, a city completely over run by the Crossed. There’s heaps of graphic violence, guys getting their cocks out, a scene where dozens of lunatics pelt the stories main characters with handfuls of their own poop and the whole thing is presented in stunning 3D. Greatest comic ever printed then? Well it’s not bad.
For those of you new to Crossed, it’s a 28 Days Later style storyline where society has crumbled after the outbreak of the Crossed virus. An infection that has turned the majority of the worlds populace into sadistic murdering rapists, totally hell bent on bringing unspeakable torment and suffering to those not yet infected. One of the symptoms of the infection is a blistering rash across the infected’s faces in the shape of a cross, hence the name.
Garth’s original story read kind of like the Walking Dead on speed, with pretty much everything horrible that ever got put into Robert Kirkmans brilliant zombie series and worse being thrown at your eyes in the space of just 6 comics. Garth Ennis is renowned for writing some nasty material but this one really was fucked up even for him. It’s a brilliant survival story about how people might react in extreme circumstances but it’s also great if you just like a good horror with plenty of shock value. Seriously, you see terrible, terrible things happening to children, it’s that bad.
Nothing that happens in this book has anything to do with the previous mini series so you can easily pick it up and read it without having read the the other story. To be honest though, David Lapham’s contribution to the series isn’t anywhere near as good as Garth’s. It’s a fairly straight forward, almost generic story where a group of heroes, one unable to maintain discipline due to his aggressive hatred of the Crossed, one an ex con trying to make good, one a religious type, one racked with guilt over the death of his family, one the hard ass cold leader who’ll kill his own men rather than see them get taken by the enemy -you get the idea- are slowly picked off one at a time whilst falling out among themselves and occasionally recounting terrible stories about past encounters with the crossed where they had to set their own mothers on fire to survive or something like that. Not much remarkable going on with the story apart from the incredible level of violence in keeping with the rest of the books.
What does separate this from most of the other comics out there though is the fact that it’s all printed in 3D and comes with an old school pair of red and green lensed 3D glasses. Now it may be because my eyes are becoming a bit disabled -been meaning to get them tested- but I found it needed to be read in a very well lit area because of the almost murky quality of the 3D print paired with the tinted glasses and I had to look very closely and carefully at a lot of it before my eyes focused properly to get the full 3D effect but once I did focus in on the pages I was always amazed by just how good it looks. Some of the open city scenes seem to go off hundreds of metres into the distance and all the text bubbles and boxes appear to stand proud from the page along with the excrement being used as a projectile weapon in some of the scenes. The book is well illustrated by Pagliarani anyway but the 3D element did make me take a lot longer studying every inch of each panel than I would for most other comics I’ve read.
At less than 50 pages it was never going to be a mind blowingly deep story but I coudn’t help but think it could’ve been a bit better. Still, the 3D really is a nice novelty. That paired with the quality art work makes it a very good looking book and if violence and nudity is what floats your boat then you wont be disappointed with this.
I should be getting hold of the other crossed mini series’ soon. Family Values is one, the other’s called Psychopath or something like that. Hopefully they’ll offer some stories with a bit more beef!