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The Hawk of New York (2014)

The Hawk of New York

The Hawk of
New York

Although I donít typically review comic books on Film Apocalypse, this comic book seems appropriate because it is an independent release. In the same way that the DVDs I review here are produced outside of the Hollywood system, this comic book has been created by an artist who is working without the backing of a major comic book publisher. The content shares many of the characteristics of no-budget movies too. The artwork is gritty and a little bit sloppy. The story is good, but it feels like it may have benefited from going through an editor before being finalized. Sometimes itís hard to tell whatís supposed to be happening because the characters don't look the same each time they are drawn. These traits are similar to what you'll find in most of the movies that I review, so these elements alone were enough to make me feel like this comic book has a place on Film Apocalypse.  The icing on the cake for me is the fact that this comic book also has a great gimmick in the form of a CD Soundtrack!

The title of the book is The Hawk of New York and from what I can tell, it looks like it was done entirely by one guy named Randyl Bishop. The comic book takes place in the 1980s and is about a troubled, orphan teen trying to survive in a broken system filled with corrupt school officials and other abusive authority figures. I wonít go into too much detail because I donít want to tell the entire story in this review, but I will say that thereís a girl, a mentor, plenty of bad guys and a good amount of action. Advertisements done in the style of ads from comic books in the 1980s were added in as a nod to the decade.  Another way Mr. Bishop helps put readers in the spirit of the decade is the addition of song lyrics from popular music of the day included throughout the comic book.

In a brilliant marketing move, a CD soundtrack was released with local and regional bands remaking the songs from the comic in their own styles. Youíll instantly recognize most of the songs even if you donít recognize most of the bands. The songs Ace of Spades and Hungry Like The Wolf played by the band Radio Cult (whom Iíve reviewed HERE) are two of the highlights on the CD. Other standouts include a spot-on version of Judas Priestís Breaking the Law by a band called Immortal Soul, a brutally heavy version of Fugaziís Waiting Room recorded by the group Cydetrax, and the band Pure Ed covering Mudhoneyís Pump It Up (watch the video HERE). In addition to the cover songs on the CD, the comic book's creator Randyl Bishop also wrote and performed a theme song for the main character of the comic book. In total there are an impressive 17 tracks on the CD!  Getting that many people involved with a CD which is essentially a marketing gimmick is one hell of an accomplishment.  On top of that the CD stands up on its own as a good CD even without the tie-in to the comic book!

Iím not a comic book guy. I read some comic books as a kid. Thatís about it. Nevertheless, I am a supporter of the independent artist and Randyl Bishop is one independent artist whoís getting the job done! With The Hawk of New York he has created a comic book with a good story and with the comic book soundtrack he has created a unique reading and listening experience that really does take you back to the 1980s!  If you are a comic book reader or just a supporter of independent artists, find this comic book and buy it!

Visit The Art of Randyl Bishop facebook page for more info.:


Gore-o-meter rating: 2.5 out of 5
(fighting, a little blood, vomit and a chainsaw dismemberment)

Skin-o-meter: 1 out of 5 (mostly implied)