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I had never heard of this series until I found this first volume in San Francisco in a very famous comic book lounge, Isotope. This is a big book, 400 plus pages of pure comic reading is great. The occasional omnibus or compendium can be rather large, but most trade paperbacks aren't. This is a great exception, It took me a decent amount of time to read through this so it's well worth the money. And it really isn't that much more expensive than other trades, and it's basically two of them combined anyhow (in duration, not content). Really, this is a massive amount of great short stories by great artists and writers. I have always been a big fan of collections with different writers and artists like Hack/Slash and Dark Horse's Book of the Dead, Book of Monsters, Book of Hauntings, Book of Witchcraft and Star Wars Tales. If you like short stories, seeing different great artists work and reading many great writers in one volume, or any of the aforementioned books, then you will love Popgun Volume 1.
Popgun Vol. 1 by Image Comics literally contains something for everyone. Whether you're a sci-fi nut, fantasy fan, horror addict, noir junkie, superhero fanboy or a cheesy romantic, this comic anthology will almost certainly have a story tailored specifically for you. It's 450 pages of innovative, colorful, well-written and well-drawn comics that kept me reading consistently for a week or so. Many of the stories I read twice, and there weren't any particular ones that I disliked. Most of them are printed in gorgeous color and range from anything between 2 pages to 8 pages in length. The following four comics were the ones I enjoyed most:
1) First among these were "Mexican Wrestler Funnies," written and drawn by Andy Kuhn, where El Tigre and Hombre Supremo face off against each other without actually wrestling. Their ridiculous insults are what makes this story hilarious. ("The time for insults is over! But if it were not, I would call your mother a Gravy Boat full of Kaka!")
2) My second favorite is "Sanz Panz: Ninja Platypus," where an ultra-cool duck-billed martial artist goes up against The Cheesy T-Shirt Gang. Awesome.
3) Next I would have to pick "The Amazing Joy Buzzards in The Fearless Vampire Hunters" by Mark Andrew Smith and Dan Hipp. Ridiculous, but funny as hell.
4) Finally, "Tag" by David Crosland - An artistic repesentation of a game played throughout the eons by evolution, which gives a whole new meaning to the term "survival of the fittest."
Other great stories also appear, and some by renowned comic creators such as Fear Agent Rick Remender ("The Death of the Midnight Sky"), Savage Dragon Erik Larsen ("Cheeseburgerhead") and Madman Mike Allred ("For the Record"). Numerous fictitious adds also appear between stories, most of which are quite good. Some stories are very experimental though, and may put off readers who are looking for a particular fix. I loaned Popgun to a friend and he only enjoyed about 10 out of the 50 or so stories, so it might not be as enjoyable if you are merely a casual reader of graphic storytelling. Having said that, Popgun Vol.1 is one of the best comic anthologies I have ever read, and that's saying a lot. Pick it up if you like short comics or don't have time to read longer story arcs.
There's a little something for every taste in comics. My personal favorite and the main reason I bought this was for "Jazz" starting on page 375. Words and art by my favorite artist Moritat. Start there and then go thru the rest of the book. If you're a comic fan you will find a lot to like about this anthology of short stories and all the different styles featured here.
The book has a massive amount of short stories in some good some great! Have to agree with the above review saying Mexican wrestler funnies was definately my favourite of the bunch. Its a nice break from reading long never ending stories as so many comicbooks are, but some do leave you wishing for more. I will most likely be picking up volume 2 sometime soon!