We were somewhere around Barstow on the edge of the desert when the drugs began to take hold... Suddenly the road was full of what looked like apes all swooping and careening and screeching around the car, all atop their high powered death machines. "We can't stop here." I said, "This is Humans country..."
The Humans would be the resulting mind-crushing hallucination if someone were to take too much acid while watching Planet of the Apes at the yearly Sturgis motorcycle rally.
Set in the 70's amid a raging counter-culture with the shadow of a destructive unpopular conflict in Vietnam looming; the story centers around titular motorcycle gang The Humans and the struggles they face. Rival gangs, the drug trade, cops, simian on sapien reverse bestiality, and... life after death? Yes.
Johnny, member and brother of The Humans leader, has returned from the jungles of Vietnam where he was assumed to have died. Johnny is a rebel, an outcast, a Human, and back from the dead! Ready to raise hell with his brothers while battling crippling war flashbacks.
Every bit of The Humans, from Keenan Keller's writing to the art of Tom Neely, tone and style, concept to color; drips with exploitation era cultural influence. The balls to the walls nature of the characters and story read like a long stretch of highway at night. You'll have a moment of near panic when you glance at the page number and realize that unbeknownst to you, you've blasted down the asphalt at 120mph.
Humans for life. Humans till deth.
Visit The Humans official website and buy the thing already.
More What We're Reading: Sin Titulo
Sin Titulo by Cameron Stewart is an enigmatic fever dream that progressively loses more and more control of itself. Collecting Stewart's five year webcomic run this hard cover begins simply enough. Main character Alex MacKay learns, a month after the fact, that his grandfather has died in his retirement home. Naturally Alex wants to collect some of his grandfather's things and learn a bit about what happened. There ends the normalcy. Alex discovers a photo of a woman that his grandfather knew but Alex had never seen before. Alex investigates, and what follows is a strange spiraling descent that sees Alex mirroring Billy Pilgrim as he becomes unstuck from reality.
Sin Titulo really is a fantastic read. The muted sepia tone art work of Cameron Stewart pairs very well with the story he's telling. Art and writing meld into a perfect vacuum, forcing the reader's nose deeper into the book's spine. If you can successfully put it down and take more than one sitting to read it... you are certainly stronger than I.
Visit Cameron's art blog or the Sin Titulo website.