Archive for October, 2009


Reviewer: Sienna Rockette

Publisher: Vertigo Crime (DC Comics)
Writer: Brian Azzarello
Artist: Victor Santos
Genre: Graphic Novel (Hardcover)
MSRP: $19.99
Release Date: Available Now

CR Editor's Choice Award

It isn’t easy being Richard “Junk” Junkin.

He was once a very promising pro football player who everyone had an eye on until he got into a bad accident that not only nearly crippled him but ruined his chances to be an All-American football legend. He now spends his days making a living as car salesman for the richest man in the city and sleeping with the lusty wives of men with money in their pockets. He isn’t the brightest bulb and he isn’t the best salesman in the lot but he’s got character and that’s the only reason his boss, Mister Soeffer, is keeping him on the payroll.

Oh, but with a poor car sales record and half of Soeffer’s best salesmen often getting on Junk’s case, the boss decides to give him another duty and that is to take care of his only daughter. You see, Soeffer has a daughter named Victoria who is – more or less – the Paris Hilton of her time. Beautiful, curvy and a sociable socialite who is known throughout the late night party circuit, Victoria is the type of doll you do not want to play with or even get to know personally. She’s the kind of girl that looks out for herself and thinks of nothing more than to make daddy’s life a living nightmare since she ends up in all the tabloid rags in the city.

While Junk has a girl he sees on a somewhat regular basis who is crazy about him, he accepts the job only to find himself smitten by Victoria who sees him as nothing more than just hired muscle. Suddenly, Junk finds himself caught up in the seemingly glamorous nightclubs and hot spots Victoria frequents. He’s rubbing elbows with the rich and the famous but, most importantly, he’s near Victoria. Junk realizes that he likes this seedy side of the city and likes Victoria even more to the point that he keeps troublesome rich boys away from her.

Of course, watching over a girl like Victoria becomes difficult when the girl in question flirts around with Junk. While Victoria sees it as playfully harmless flirtation, Junk interprets it as genuine affection. As I said, he’s not the brightest bulb. When something she says gets under Junk’s skin, though, he loses track of Victoria only to find her in a very uncompromising position with a rich kid that seems to relish pushing Junk’s buttons. The result is that the rich kid ends up dead thanks to Junk’s short temper and mighty fists.

Instead of scaring Victoria away, though, she sticks to his story that a drunken friend of dead rich kid was so drunk that he killed his friend. To sell the story, Victoria creates scandal in front of the paparazzi that has people believing she spent the entire evening making out with her bodyguard. This, of course, enrages daddy and when Victoria shows up with a shiner, Junk immediately believes daddy smacked his little girl around. Then, Victoria spends the night with Junk.

Thinking the only way to keep his lady love safe, Junk does what he know thinks he does best … cross the line without even turning back. What happens next is true to the old school pulp stories as Junk attempts to save the spoiled rich girl by committing more crimes and setting up alibis. Filthy Rich is filled with bloody violence, raw sex and snappy dialogue. The art brings to mind those classic crime comics that Frank Miller brought to Sin City. Everything about Filthy Rich falls together nicely.

Filthy Rich is everything you can ask for in a pulp crime comic and thanks to its richly told story and great art this one joins all the classic crime stories of the good old days of hardboiled pulp comics. Brian Azzerello and Victor Santos recreates the classic film noir feel of old movies like “Double Indemnity” and the detective yarns of Raymond Chandler perfectly. This is a Must Have for anyone who loves crime fiction.


As a car salesman, Junk isn’t the best at what he does and with his old football glory days behind him there isn’t much a big guy can do except maybe some muscle work for his boss who happens to be wealthy. When his boss offers him a job protecting his beautiful out-of-control daughter, things will get very ugly for the poor clueless muscle.

You just have to love art that brings to mind those old crime comics your father use to read and Victor Santos just does a exceptional job with the dark tones.

Deliciously lurid and extremely hard to put down, Filthy Rich is a brilliant slice of pulp fiction that pays homage to the classic crime stories of yesteryear. With a boldly written story that tips its hat to film noir classics and art that screams ’50s styled crime comics, this is one graphic novel that Dashell Hammit and Raymond Chandler would have loved.


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