Ex-Con with Kate (and Dan)

::Kate wanders into the kitchen at the Asylum in St. Paul looking for ice cream. It’s been a long day and the woman just wants some god-damn ice cream. She finds empty containers of the magical frozen goodness strewn about the floor. Melted dairy coats the countertops.::


Dan: ::looks up from kitchen table with ice cream and brownies all over his face:: Ice cream? We had ice cream? I have no idea what you are talking about.

K: ::slips on puddle of mint chocolate chip:: You know exactly what I’m talking about!

D: ::sticks brownies in ears:: Imsorrywhat?

K: Yes you do! We’ve talked about this. You can’t just binge on ice cream whenever you want. Other people at the Asylum want it too! LIKE ME! What am I going to do with you?

D: ::wipes face with sleeve:: I dunno. Go to the corner store for more?

K: ::Glares::

D: I’m not the only guilty one here. The Dog was helping me finish off the last carton.

The Dog: ::blinks:: ::licks vanilla from chops::

K: Don’t blame this on the dog. I gotta clean this up before we’re overrun with ants. You. Go sit out on the deck while I restore order to the kitchen. And take your four-legged sidekick with you.

The Dog: Murf?

D: Are you putting me on a TIME OUT?!

K: ::waves Clorox wipes in threatening manner:: TIME. OUT. GO. YOU. NOW.

D: C’mon, Dog. She’s so pissed, she’s lost the ability to put words in order. If I’m going up the river, I’m taking this week’s comics with me!

D: ::mumbles:: Put me on time out, will she? Exile me to the deck, will she??? I’ll show her! Like General Zod said, “REEEVVVEEENNNGGGE!”


But before revenge, I’ll take a seat on this comfy deck chair and read EX-CON by Duane Swierczynski and Keith Burns. A smooth SOB gets caught by the fuzz and sent up the river? This book speaks to me. I bet ice cream is involved somehow…

K: Alright, you sloppy bastard. The kitchen is sterile. Your four-legged sidekick can come back inside. I’m still on the fence about you.

D: I’ve been sprung! Just like my man Cody Pomeray in the comic! Dude spent five years in San Quentin. Sold out to the cops by his girl Sierra Grandquist. Cody was enjoying the hell out of 1984. By the time he got out of stir, 1989 was a complete mystery to him.

K: ::reads:: Hold up. This is book about a conman that works the system aided by the ability to read peoples auras. Red means Lust. Yellow means Lying. Grey is Fear. Green, of course, is Greed. He’s scum leaching off of scum. Life gets worse in San Quentin, and it became even more tangled when he gets out.


K: It’s a beautiful Fall day and you had a stack of comics.


K: You have problems. So, Swierczynski sets up a juicy story about a bad guy doing bad things. But unlike most Tales From the Wrong Side of the Law, this picks up after our hero (?) gets out of prison. Without giving too much away, Cody now needs to cope with the deals and alliances he made while on the inside. And with his aura-reading ability, Mr. S gives Cody a very unique ability. This is NOT a story with capes. Cody’s ability is not the focus here. Crime, punishment, and consequences are.

D: Keith Burns is a new name for me. His rough style provides a suitable gritty feel to a story knee-deep in crime and grit. His use of varying perspective mixed with heavy shadow gives the book a distinctive style. It will be interesting to see how his look grows and develops over the course of the book.

K: And let’s not forget the striking cover by Tim Bradstreet! Good god, it looks like Cody is watching me from the coffee table…

D: Swierczynski and Burns have done a great job setting the table for this series. Why did Pomeray’s lady sell him out? What happened while he was in the clink? Will he ever figure out 1989?

K: Tune in next month. Gotta keep reading. No one will ever be able to figure out 1989.

D: Life in the joint is hard. It’s the pits. Life on outside is nothing but brownies and ice cream.

K: Crime and Punishment, son. Crime and Punishment.