The King/ pub. by Top Shelf Productions/ 261 pp./ $19.95/written and drawn by Rich Koslowski/
The King has reentered the building.
Please. Not again.
Let's be honest. What more can be done with the old canard that Elvis Presley isn't dead? In fact, this idea has run so rampant that no rock and roll singer has ever died and that Elvis, Jim Morrison, Jimmie Hendrix and Buddy Holly are actually playing pinochle with Janis Joplin and John Lennon somewhere in Oklahoma right now. Based upon the total number of believers, Elvis as an urban legend is winning.
But can artist and writer Rich Koslowski bring something fresh in the way of characterization, plot and dialog to his graphic novel The King?
Is his visual storytelling strong enough to keep a reader turning pages to reach the denouement?
His art is cartoonish but powerful, the staging in each panel flawless, the pacing from panel to panel enticing, and his visual characterizations are both appealing and consistent.
Well then, can just a little bit of what The King is all about be shared?
Sure. It is about real and phony faith.
Put your fists down. It is also about a washed up National Enquirer journalist investigating an Elvis impersonator in a gold helmet who is so convincing that he has turned a dump in Las Vegas into a money-making machine and founded his own church. The impersonator picked this reporter to interview him.
It is about the cronies that surround this Elvis, and why they do so. And it is about 261 pages long.
And it is all done using profanity, nihilism, sexual and drug abuse, and nudity, all sure markers that it will get slammed by this reviewer.
The King is highly recommended for adults.
It never glamorizes these vices.
And it is about time you bought a copy. Buy The King at comics and book stores or online at topshelfcomix.com.
Thank you very much. The reviewer has left the building.
Commentary by Michael Vance