Day 12 and we're halfway to Christmas. Today, I will highlight a book which I should have reviewed ages ago...
Title: Gängkrig 145
Translation: Gang War 145
By: Jens Lapidus & Peter Bergting
168 pages, colour, softcover
Wahlströms & Widstrands, 2009
Gängkrig 145 hit the book shelves in Sweden this summer and made a big splash, both sales-wise and with the critics. I did write a lot about it at the time, but never got around to reviewing it, as I was finishing my book Comic Art Propaganda and already writing furiously around the clock.
Anyway, having re-read it now I still retain the same impression of the book. The story, about a gang war in the seedier parts of Stockholm, a cop dedicated beyond the call of duty, a broken marriage, etc., is well crafted but rather predictable. Ironically, most people probably bought the book because of the star status of author Lapidus, but the real qualities of the book lie with the illustrator Peter Bergting (The Portent).
Granted, I'm not sure which one of the creators did the break-down of the story into a comic, and that works very well, with a visual storytelling which is easy to read and still varied in layout, usage of panels etc. But it is the realistic images and not the least the moody colouring of Bergting that leaves a lasting impression.
All-in-all, this is a good, albeit rather quick read. Gängkrig 145 is pretty unique as Swedish graphic novel goes, but I would say that it also would do well on an international level and I wouldn't be surprised if translations starts appearing pretty soon.