Set in an era resembling the 1920's and drawn in a hybrid style of American graphic novels and more Asian manga/manhwa/manhua, Babel is a full-color adult series (in Korea, you must be 19+ years old to purchase it) with good old-fashioned gangs, shooting, bank heists, etc. It begins with guns blazing and 70 million dollars at stake.
We arrive at the scene of a crime in action. A murdering massacre is taking place at some expensive-looking mansion. With a VERY literal BANG! People are dropping dead like flies hitting electric killers and you’ve caught the killers red-handed. It’s all blood and gore in the first scene of Babel and there is nothing you can do to stop it.
So why is this happening? Who wants who dead? Can you get a gun like that too?
Violence is not the answer, boys and girls; you should talk about your differences and settle things like imaginary good-respectable-adults (I mean who does this anyway?).
The story was fast-paced and stress-filled; it’s like you pacing in your room, over and over, trying to get the gist of what’s going on before someone else’s signs of life come to a nasty end. You’re hurriedly trying to piece together plans and happenings as you read through this harassing tale, no sitting back and trying not to fall asleep: you WILL get your hands dirty so get your game on and forget all your niceties.
Leave them at home or at the neighbours: get it?
Please tell me you got it?
The illustrations I’m going to tell you are weird, not bad-weird but weird-weird, you know? I mean, the illustrator had PAIN –and I mean PAIN!- stakingly coloured everything in by hand, the poor bloke. I bet his hand hurt from all that effort and his head became filled with a just MADDENING haze (try colouring in every piece of furniture and character, again and again, for hours and hours. I’m getting MAD just thinking about it!). But all the effort has not gone to waste, because readers WILL appreciate the fine shadows, evoking details, and because of the use of traditional mediums in illustration (aka. colour pencils), there is even texture that readers WILL bathe their eyes in.
Isn’t that right readers...?
Yeah, I thought so.
The characters were funny, and strangely realistic. Daring attributes spark the high-stake situations and underlying worry decorates the floor. The features and faces change the scenes moods, which are immensely varied; but at all times, the golden rule is remembered:
No big fish gets drunk. Full stop.
You won’t see no big bad wolf swinging a bottle and singing an equivalent of ‘he’s a jolly good fellow!’ No sir.
All in all, I would recommend this. I had a lot of fun reading it and it was a nice refreshing dose of gangsta battles without chapters of rape and nudity, or excessive side-effects and corny stories trying to be what they never will be: fast-paced with non-sissy action.
The writer tried to go for traditional both in plot (sorta) and in illustration (no arguments here), the saying ‘old but gold’ isn’t full of air and was the right stuff for this story.
So put your hands around this book, grab it and don’t let go. Allow your eyes to rove through the pages of secret plotting and brash gunbattles; you won’t want to miss this.
The preview front cover doesn't do the book justice.
And speaking pf justice, remember, crime doesn't pay!