Stylish, violent, and sordid -- but also thoughtful and, occasionally, hopeful -- Trevor Alixopulos has crafted two powerful books about war, politics, and relationships that will draw you in and force you to take a hard, long look at the realities of our modern world.
In Mine Tonight, individuals with high ideals and few scruples struggle and scheme among the backdrop of the second Bush administration, the giddy chaos of WTO protest-era Seattle, and the moral fog of post-9/11 New York. The tricks of memory and the ambiguity of politics add the the intrigue of a tale that is both intensely personal and widely relevant. Lukas, an amoral gun for hire, finds himself embroiled in the corruptions of the 2004 presidential election; his journey and demons are aggressively rendered in black and white drawings, which fluidly convey anger, fear, and motion.
The Hot Breath of War is a looser book, conceptually, but no less powerful. Entwining several seemingly unrelated episodes featuring vastly different characters and experiences, this book ultimately creates a vivid picture of life during wartime. Alixopulos uses subtle storytelling and skillful artistry to explore love amid conflict and the seduction and love of violence itself. While the art in The Hot Breath of War is more cartoonish than the art in Mine Tonight, it still remains graphically sophisticated and urgently shows movement and emotion.
The Hot Breath of War and Mine Tonight are perfect for fans of Joe Sacco or Jules Feiffer, but they stand on their own merits as unique graphic novels that speak to our current political and personal affairs.