Light It, Shoot It!

Fantagraphics. Mar. 2024. 208p. ISBN 9781683966821. pap. $24.99. M
Chaffee (To Have and To Hold) returns with this character-focused noir story set in 1970s Hollywood. Upon completing a prison sentence for burning down a factory in the small town where he grew up, 20-year-old Billy Bonney travels to Hollywood in search of Bobby, his brother. Bobby is working as a camera operator on a cheesy B-movie about vampires; he got the gig through their uncle Larry, a former movie star whose notoriously abrasive behavior has reduced him to appearing in such sleazy schlock. This particular piece of schlock is being produced by a slimy producer named Saul and his long-suffering partner Kate. When the unsavory gangsters who loaned Saul and Kate the money to make their latest masterpiece decide they’re tired of waiting for a return on their investment and hatch a scheme to torch the production studio in order to collect the insurance payout, poor Billy’s criminal record threatens to make him the perfect patsy.
VERDICT Illustrated in gorgeous black-and-white brushstrokes and moodily evocative painted washes, this twisty thrill ride through old Hollywood features a large cast of complex and often surprisingly nuanced characters.
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