Why You Should Be Reading… Lion Forge & IDW’s Miami Vice Remix….

Hello readers welcome back to Why You Should Be Reading…

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After last weeks article where we got a little deep, I wanted to lighten things up this time around. This week we are going to talk about Lion Forge & IDW’s Miami Vice Remix….

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I stumbled upon this comic exploring a new shop around my neighborhood. I was disappointed at the time because I couldn’t find the actual comic I was searching for, but it ended up being an awesome experience in the end. Once I got over my original let down, I seized the opportunity and began looking for something new. As my eyes scanned around the store I continued looking for something to pop out stimulating some interest. After passing the super hero section (yawn) I walked down the aisles until the retro name Miami Vice took hold of my attention, and I immediately chuckled in disbelief. The thing that struck me the most was the artwork, I’m sure at least some of you are gamers, so you may remember the Jet Set Radio Franchise. Those games had a rough, colorful, yet extremely abstract look and feel, and in my opinion it totally added to the playing experience for the better. As I picked up these comics I got that same feel, and was instantly reminded of the countless hours I used to play Jet Set Radio Future, jamming out to the soundtrack drowning out my classmates playing outside (wasn’t popular). The Artwork really shines for this comic, the angles are rough so some times you feel as though you are reading an on going abstract painting, which makes me love this more. I ended up buying an extra issue of # 1 just because I really enjoy how cool it looks bagged and boarded. I also found out later the artist, Jim Mahfood also did a comic for the Felt 2 release. For those of you fans of independent hip hop check it out, Felt is Slug who happens to be from my home town of Minneapolis, and Murs make up the Duo. For there second album they had Jim Mahfood make a comic as an extra item to be sold with their release. It was a really cool idea and I wish I could say I had one. (looking for one as we speak).

Now Miami Vice remix, for those who aren’t familiar with the franchise ( I would be shocked if you never heard of Miami Vice before) Is a buddy cop story set in Miami during the 80’s. The 2 detectives find them selves frequently going under cover to stop the latest drug kingpins from continuing to pollute the streets with new product. We follow them as they navigate through Miami’s underground balancing street life with police work. They also have to answer to their strict police chief yet continue to keep a low profile avoiding breaking their cover. Enlisting informants and using all the classic cop tricks, they go after the bad guys all the while experiencing the sexy ladies and pop culture that made the 80’s so great. As a new street drug sweeps the Miami area, our guys again need to go under cover in a race against the clock, because this time there is a street drug turning people into Zombies…….(Yes zombies) and with their chief’s daughter in danger things are getting a bit too close to home. With all the pressures of solving this case we see our guys Crockett and Ricardo continue to deal with the dangers of trying to climb Miami’s drug underground, as well as some how staying on the same page and getting along.

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The settings are drawn extremely well, and as a person who loves the 80’s some of the references are a real treat. I like how the characters have a dynamic and a build that seems to have a clear cut direction, and with this being a well known franchise the twist of Zombies really helps with pushing the story. I’ll admit when I first found out about the Zombies I thought really, but after giving the comic a chance, it really works. If you actually stop and think about it, harsh drugs in real life tend to zombify a person over time, and you can literally see them deteriorating before your eyes. Between track marks, discoloration of the skin, and the lost of coherence, Zombie is the closest thing you got left. Add a funky smell and the never ending hunger/desire for more drugs, it only pushes the similarities further. Living in the city of Seattle with a high population of attics I see this frequently, so I was quite impressed the writer Joe Casey was able to make this correlation adding it to the dynamics of the story. Now we have our selves a buddy cop story with a twist, not just detectives going under cover, then finding the drug lord in an attempt to bust said drug lord, we get a more pressing story that threatens the basis of humanity itself.

To be frank this is just a fun read, I don’t expect to blown away with a super in depth story plot requiring intense analysis, but I expect to continue to be entertained. I also can’t express enough how much the artwork makes this reading experience worth your time, if you take anything from this article know that if you’re a stickler of good art work, this is a comic you should have on display. It just looks so darn cool when it’s hung up, and people seem to always want to pick it up and read through it. Like I stated above the abstract feel of this comic just screams flip through me. I don’t care how in depth your storyline can go, I don’t care how well you display your comic, if it doesn’t have that pick me up spunk when it’s seen, it may just sit on the shelf.

-Grainbelt Jones

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