Vaughan & Chiang's "Paper Girls" Builds a Familiar Yet Disconcerting World
Here is the latest in our year-long look at one cool comic (whether it be a self-contained work, an ongoing comic or a run on a long-running title that featured multiple creative teams on it over the years) a day (in no particular order whatsoever)! Here‘s the archive of the comics posted so far!
Today we look at Brian Wood and Steve Rolston’s Pounded…
The star of Pounded is a complete jerk named Heavy Parker, who is the proverbial “big fish in a small pond” in his hometown of Vancouver.
Let us allow Heavy to introduce himself and his ridiculousness…
Here’s the aforementioned Missy, as Heavy has sex with her in his car and then cons into not only not coming to his show that night (because an old fling of his is performing with her band that night and Heavy wants to pursue that), but getting Missy into apologizing to him over it!
Heavy has her fully under his spell.
Until, of course, Missy finds out what Heavy has been up to while she is beginning her freshman year at NYU in the Fall…
And when she returns in the Spring, she has brought a new group of friends from New York City…
That’s the basic set-up and conflict of Pounded. Doesn’t Steve Rolston do a beautiful job with the character work? He’s such a great storyteller, and his people are always so wonderfully expressive.
My favorite aspect of this comic, besides its interesting characters and intriguing drama, is the fact that Wood is not teaching us a lesson here. Heavy Parker might learn a lesson – but he might not, and if he DOES learn a lesson, he will be learning it only on his terms. I am amazed at how bleak Wood is willing to go with the moral compass of this story – jerks like Heavy will always be around, no matter how much you might want them not to be, and Wood shows us just how they always seem to bounce back. It’s an impressive writer who can make you care about someone you ought to dislike immensely, and Wood is definitely an impressive writer (Currently, in DMZ, Wood is doing something that strikes me as similar to what he did with Heavy in Pounded, which is to make DMZ’s lead, Matty Roth, do something that really CAN’T be forgiven and yet we still “have” to root for him, or at least be interested in what happens to him. Obviously, Matty Roth is far more developed than Heavy, but their current situations remind me of each other a bit – you’re “rooting” for a guy who has done some despicable things).
This was a three-issue series that is now in a collection.
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