With Further Ado #072: The Unrelenting Coolness of Dean Haspiel and Red Hook

Dean Haspiel is a certain kind of artist. When you read his work, you can’t help but like what he’s doing.  And then the more you learn about him, you can’t help but admire who he is, what he’s doing and why he’s doing it.  It’s inevitable that you want to learn more about his focus and his work. 

There’s no denying that he’s a cool cat. That’s part of it, but only part. He’s also a passionate believer. He’s the type of guy that’s fighting the good fight.  It’s easy to picture him getting into arena each day, doing his best, and then repeating that the very next day.  His purposeful work ethic and big dreams shine through every page of his work. 

The Red Hook Volume 2 : War Cry is his latest. This graphic novel, published by Image Comics, is a collection of adventures, featuring his original hero, The Red Hook, in the unique Brooklyn-verse that Haspiel has created.  World-building has become a trite phrase in some circles, but here Haspiel sketches out a credible Marvel-esque world. It’s a sort of a modern-day Brooklyn dealing with catastrophic threats and of course, superheroes, supervillains and aliens.

In this thriller, the protagonist, The Red Hook (so named because of his boxing career) embarks on a series of adventures with his recently returned girlfriend. There’s angst and drama peppered with a healthy dose of “I can’t wait to turn the page and see what happens next”.

Haspiel’s engaging art bursts at the seams with unbridled fun. There’s not a lot of shadowy nuances here; it’s all bombastic and straightforward.  Haspiel, like so many of us, grew up with the language of comics and easily bends it to serve his imagination in order to provide something fresh and urgent.

Of note: The Red Hook Volume 2 effortlessly provides some innovative page layouts. It’s nothing flashy or attention-seeking, just nuts & bolts storytelling… with just the right amount of panache and inspired creativity.

Why, oh why did I leave The Red Hook Volume 2 : War Cry off of my Holiday recommendation columns?  I missed an opportunity. But for you – Red Hook Volume 2 makes a great gift for someone you love or for yourself and your own collection!

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The Red Hook Volume 2 : War Cry

By Dean Haspiel (Author and Artist)

$19.99 136 pp. • Trade Paperback  • ISBN: 9781534313439  Published: October 9, 2019