Tobacco-Stained Mountain Goat: The Graphic Novel was created by Andrez Bergen (words and images) and his daughter Cocoa Bergen (artwork).
I keep saying I’m not a graphic novel sort of person, and Andrez Bergen keeps proving me wrong, damn him. Turns out I’m a complete sucker for his Bullet Gal comic series (also available at If? Commix). And so, over the Labor Day weekend, I decided to take a look at this 133-page color production with the eye-catching cover. I was hesitant—it’s based on the novel by the same name, which I possess, but haven’t gotten around to reading yet. Trust me, I’ll be fixing that oversight soon.
TSMG:TGN (now there’s an acronym for the ages) has been unnervingly crafted to push all my buttons. Film Noir. Assemblage Art. Lauren Bacall references. Folks from his other novels wandering through and making themselves at home. Witty, tough dialogue. A post-apocalyptic city. Unforgettable characters. Unapologetic drinking and smoking.
Floyd and Laurel’s story should be soaked up, the way a cheap paper bar coaster absorbs slopped whiskey, rather than simply read. Let the graphics seep in, let the smokey story take a long drag and blow the words into your eyeballs.
Andrez counts among his visual influences, “Dada, cut-ups, Terry Gilliam, Jim Steranko, Steve Epting, Dr. Seuss and David Aja,” staying true to his eclectic, magpie-collector, culture-twister nature. Just when you’ve acclimated to one startling graphic, you turn the page and are spun on your head, given a new and intriguing view of what passes for reality in the last city on earth.
The original novel is available at Amazon.
Buy a copy of the graphic novel at If? Commix, just poke the logo below and you’re magically there.
Read other reviews I’ve written about Andrez Bergen’s novels: