Item description for Last Of The Independents by Matt Fraction & Kieron Dwyer...
Cole Caudle was just one big score away from his happily-ever-after when everything went off the rails. Now, one man's last shot at "The American Dream" becomes the first shotgun blast in a mob war halfway between Vegas and nowhere.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 0.5" Width: 6.5" Height: 10" Weight: 0.45 lbs.
Release Date Jul 15, 2003
ISBN 1932051147 ISBN13 9781932051148
Reviews - What do customers think about Last Of The Independents?
Good Story, Good Art -- But Borderline Plagiarism? Jun 10, 2008
I'm a big fan of graphic novels and crime fiction, so I try and check out crime graphic novels when I can. I was drawn to this one by Dwyer's distinctive cover art, which evokes a raw '70s vibe. The book is printed in a distinctive sepia brown on brown-tinted paper, which marks it as very different from the usual graphic fiction and is well suited to the vintage feel of both Dwyer's style and the material.
The story kicks off with a daylight bank heist in a small town "somewhere out West." And before too many pages have gone by, the robbers -- a burly man in his 50s, a pretty younger woman, and a somewhat simple-minded big lug -- are back at their hideout with the loot. Fortunately (or not) for them, the haul is substantially bigger than they expected, so much so that it's clear something fishy is going on. The fishy something is an arrangement between the weedy bank manager and a nasty Vegas mobster to launder dirty mob money. The rest of the book pits an army of black-suited mob goons against the likeable robbers, with a few flashbacks as to how the threesome became a team. There's plenty of gunplay and gore as the "good guys" attempt to prevail against the odds and get away with the cash.
This is all good stuff, and well executed, the problem is that it's borderline plagiarism. I haven't read John Reese's 1968 book, The Looters, but I have seen Charley Varrick, the 1973 film based on it. Directed by Don Seigel (The Killers, Dirty Harry) and starring Walter Matthau as the aging bank robber, the film's basic plot is virtually identical. Beyond the plot, similar elements include the heist location, the gang, the bank manager, the Vegas mob, and even some bits about a crop duster are all more or less identical. And lest there be any doubt, the book's title is identical to the film's subtitle (which was initially supposed to be the title). I'm all for homage and remakes, but you need to acknowledge that's what you're doing -- to do so otherwise is creative dishonesty.
A SPECIAL THING. Dec 9, 2005
Is this a book about fairy tale ninjas?
My suggestion is this: Maybe buy the book and read it. I think the book will answer your ninja question for you.
There is a bank robbery in the book.
And the secret to making the perfect jello mold with fruit in it.
Matt Fraction is 100 years old and invented the nukeular bomb while beating Pablo Picasso at a game of Old Maid. He wears the pants in your family.
Cowboys vs. Goombas Jul 19, 2005
The influence of the daylight noir caper movie is readily apparent as a dozen films came to mind as I read and then re-read the book. Fraction and Dwyer have created an amalgam of "Lonely Are The Brave", "The Misfits", "The Getaway", "Reservoir Dogs", "Of Mice and Men", a few episodes of "The Rifleman" and their own steely vision to create an action comic that is hard as nails driven through the back of your hand. Sometimes a little pain reminds us that we are alive, have dreams that are only half realized and can lose friends under the worst situations.
Art and narrative are in lockstep as the story sometimes slows long enough to allow bitter details to linger and burn into the mind's retina, while at other times the reader is permitted to fill in details as desired. The sepia toned printing was at first irritating, but after a few pages, the ink color made editorial and artistic sense.
Most of the characters are well recognizable...as they should be, but I'd certainly enjoy meeting them again and sharing another story or two if given the opportunity. Despite that, I actually found myself smiling with surprise at some of the panels as we are given a few background details and thoughts of the characters, sprinkled in here and there.
If I have any disparaging comment it would be that while the story stands alone perfectly well, I want to know a little more, visit with these folks a while longer and wished there was a prequel or a sequel to the story we are given.
"Last of the Independents" is a good read, recommended highly.
Bang! Jun 7, 2004
Ok, it's a homage book. A homage to Sam Peckinpah. Or maybe even John Wayne. Excellent use of the comic medium to tell the story of a band of bank robbers on a final heist, with Fraction's offbeat transitions and Dwyer's sepia-stained art-- it instantly becomes an American classic. It's been a long time since an action book the likes of a John Woo film has come my way (with the probable exception of 100 Bullets), and Independents doesn't disappoint at all.