Featuring the captivating script of Brandon Fiadino, and the awe-inspiring visuals of Djibril Morissette-Phan, Chicago Typewriter promises to be a compelling read for comics nerds and traditional bookworms alike.
I recently had the pleasure of discussing the title with Fiadino, who is currently developing the Chicago Typewriter prose novel series. The current graphic novel was nominated “Best Graphic Novel” at the 2018 Dragon Con, and has been adapted into a Korean TV drama series.
I was most drawn to Fiadino’s masterful blending of graphic novella with longform fiction writing (such as the epic duration of a read that is V for Vendetta), creating a perfect equilibrium of print and eye-catching imagery. Fiadino did a great job at building his own world to house the characters and storyline. The behind-the-scenes character interactions that the reader isn’t made aware of give the impression that these are individuals who exist outside the framed panels gracing its pages.
Not being an avid reader of comics and graphic novels myself, from this humble outsider’s perspective, Chicago Typewriter reads like a Chuck Palahniuk title, but has its own distinct feel and style. Nerds and longtime niche loyalists please feel free to eyeroll at yet another journalist’s lack of subject matter knowledge and immersion, but at least I managed not to refer to it as a comic.
I was expecting another crime noir dramaverse, but what I discovered is something more akin to “Dark City,” with monsters and other supernatural horror aspects that mesh surprisingly well with the seedy criminal underground of Prohibition Era Chicago. I won’t give out any spoilers, but here’s the ESPN highlights version to get you up to speed.
In 1920s Chicago, the criminal underworld is more than vice, racketeering, and bootlegging.
During a brutal territory dispute with the Chicago Outfit, Emilio Enzo and his associates discovered just how deeply involved the criminal underworld is in the occult and supernatural. Using hidden pathways to our world, forces of pure evil have worked in secret to maintain their dark stronghold on Chicago. Now those forces are back to take their revenge on the one man willing to challenge their reign by stealing the soul of his girlfriend Kat.
While visiting an old shop full of oddities, Emilio comes across an antique ribbon for a typewriter with an unusual history. And after bringing the strange red ribbon home and spooling it into his machine, he is startled when it begins to communicate with him at night….
1920s Prohibition-era Chicago collides with the hidden world in this debut graphic novel from Brandon Fiadino.
Where to get a copy
Writer: Brandon Fiadino
Art/Ink: Djibril Morissette-Phan
Color/Lettering: James Greatorex
Publisher: Castalia House/Dark Legion Comics
You can follow more of Brandon Fiadino’s work on his site killthetypewriter.com or on social media.