Carver: A Paris Story by Chris Hunt. Z2 Comics, (no date listed but apparently 2016). 9781940878096. 172pp.
Inspired by Hugo Pratt’s Corto Maltese and Hunt’s work with mentor Paul Pope (who wrote and drew a short preface for this graphic novel), the art of Carver recalls the work of both but stands on its own. It’s set in 1920s Paris, and Hunt’s old school inks create a tone that’s not just beautiful to look at but serves the story, too. It’s short, entirely readable, and very fun.
Carver, a scarred, famed former US marine who says he’s an artist, is in town because Catie, the woman he loved, needs his help. When three thugs try to give Carver a message from their boss, he makes quick work of them. They were sent by a guy in a white hood, Stacker Lee, who likes to rant and who may be villainous or ridiculous or both. (His look is more Cobra Commander’s dressed down look than the KKK.) Carver meets Catie, finds out she didn’t write the letter that summoned him, and that her daughter has been missing for two weeks. There’s a local gangster who wants to hire Carver, a huge bar fight involving whiskey and a one eyed man (plus others), and a hooker with
a heart of gold nursing skills.