Friday, March 17, 2023

Talking Bats, Motorcycling Grandmothers, and The Russian Mafia in THE COMPLEAT MOSCOW CALLING

 “I figured if I was going to wash dishes to eat, I’d wash them in Moscow, the most fascinating, bizarre and edgy place I’d ever seen.” These words, said by Jose Alaniz, author and illustrator of THE COMPLEAT MOSCOW CALLING open up the beginning of this sprawling collection, which includes the entirety of MOSCOW CALLING, the first continuous American comic strip found in Russia, along with it’s partly finished follow up CASSIE’S TURN, as well as the novella MOSCOW ‘93. 

Alaniz’ words regarding the City couldn’t be more accurate in the works presented in AMATL Comix #5. Following Pepe Pérez, the titular star of the comic, who ends up in Moscow accidentally, the reader is taken throughout Moscow and introduced to a cavalcade of characters, included but not limited to a talking bat in a similar predicament as Pepe named Sid, a member of the Russian mafia named Ruslan, who has an uncanny resemblance to Pepe, and his motorcycle riding, rough and ready baba; the vibrant cast of characters, along with the unique setting of Post-Soviet Russia, make for an excellent read. 

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