Monday, December 12, 2016

Rebel graphic novel remastered

'Rebel' by Pepe Moreno
Remastered edition
Digital Fusion, August 2009

If you were a reader of Heavy Metal magazine in the 1980s then you no doubt are familiar with the work published in that magazine by the Spanish artist Pepe Moreno (b.1959). 

Rebel and Generation Zero were among the memorable comics by Moreno that were serialized in that magazine in the mid 80s.

Rebel was compiled into a graphic novel in 1986 by Catalan Communications.

However, in 2009, a 'remastered' version of Rebel was published as a trade paperback by Digital Fusion, an imprint of the US comic book publisher IDW. (Digital Fusion appears to have been designed to reissue Moreno's complete line of graphic novels, but unfortunately, it seems like Rebel was the only one of these it ever published).

The remastered version of Rebel uses digitally colored scans, made by Moreno from his original artwork.

Along with the comic, the remastered edition features a section titled 'The Making of Rebel: New York 1982'. This section provides some additional insights into the various artistic and cultural inspirations that Moreno used to create Rebel.

Of particular interest to me are the black-and-white photographs Moreno took of a snowbound Williamsburg (Brooklyn) neighborhood. The vistas of abandoned buildings and junked cars on the streets of the city gave the streets the post-apocalyptic look that was readily adaptable to the ravaged New York City of 2002 depicted in the Rebel comic. 

Seeing Moreno's photos brings back fond (?) memories of just how bad it was in the Big Apple in the era of Escape from New York, The Warriors, Fort Apache: The Bronx, and Wolfen.

The 'Making of Rebel' section also provides a sketch gallery, a gallery of characters, stats and renderings of the various cars and trucks appearing in the comic, and an overview of Moreno's work in comics and video games from the late 70s to the late 2000s.

Summing up, if you're a fan of those old issues of Heavy Metal and Pepe Moreno's contributions, then this remastered version of Rebel is well worthy getting. 

Despite being 30 years old, the comic still stands as a great example of action-driven postapocalyptic adventure, and is markedly superior to contemporary efforts to promote the genre (see my review of the forlorn comic book sequel to Escape from New York here).

New and used copies of the Rebel remastered graphic novel can be obtained for very reasonable prices from your usual online vendors.


fred said...

Pretty cool, thanks, I might have to look that one up.

I'd like to note that Moreno's Gene Kong was featured in Heavy Metal earlier this year. It was one of the best things I've seen in the mag in the recent past. It was interesting to me that it is set in mid-80s NYC, with some pages noted as from '85, and some presumably more recent, and how that was the time Rebel was produced, and set in a future that is right about now.

thanks again


azimovist said...

Hate the antiseptic revision of Moreno's masterful raw artwork. And FUCK digital lettering.
in particular regard to REBEL,digital softened the punk rock edge that rocks the true original version.