It is very interesting how different the comic market in Germany is to that of the rest of the world. While (rare) native German comic artists are lurking to the far east to do the next „Manga style“ strip or are producing (artificially uninspired) socio-critical strips, the independent US artists do more and more successful graphic novel stunts. For example „Fatale“ or the widely acclaimed „SAGA“ series, to name a few. Some graphic novels are indeed very „odd“ superhero stories, think of „The Strange Talent of Luther Strode“ or the Eisner Award-winning comic series „Chew“.
And then there is Robert Kirkman’s „Thief of Thieves“ – some sort of a „Oceans Eleven“ mixed with lots of additional ingredients that premiered 2012. The result is a very interesting and thrilling story about a master thief who wants to get out of his business but is stuck in his very complicated life, an ex-wife, a mature son that is a bag of hurt and a FBI agent that wants to hunt him down. Sounds familiar? Sounds even – boring?
But it isn’t. Without spoiling the story „Thief of Thieves“ is a very solid achievement about a disturbingly „real“ person, that has to deal with all the problems very realistically. Artwork is very distinguished and more than satisfying. No artificial „Geplänkel“ and l’art pour l’art as you get it on German productions. Straight storytelling and a bunch of unforseeable turns. Well in fact Kirkman isn’t just someone. He is well-known for his work on „The Walking Dead“ and „Invincible“.
No wonder that the reception in the US was so overwhelming (the first three issues of the series sold out in their respective release dates according to wikipedia) that AMC is developing a television drama series based on the comic book. Of course it helped that Kirkman did „The Walking Dead“.
I’m looking forward to the results.
Thief of Thieves, Volume 1, September 2012, ISBN 978-1607065920
Best read on the iPad via ComiXology.