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Elk's Run

Elk's Run

by Joshua Hale Fialkov, Noel Tuazon (Illustrator), Scott A. Keating (Illustrator)
Featuring more than 100 pages of never-before-seen material!

The Harvey Award—nominated sensation that rocked the comics world–and left readers hanging in sheer suspense–is now a full-length graphic novel that finally carries the stunning Elk’s Run saga to its shocking conclusion.

The town of Elk’s Ridge, West Virginia, was built on a


Featuring more than 100 pages of never-before-seen material!

The Harvey Award—nominated sensation that rocked the comics world–and left readers hanging in sheer suspense–is now a full-length graphic novel that finally carries the stunning Elk’s Run saga to its shocking conclusion.

The town of Elk’s Ridge, West Virginia, was built on a dream: The dream of war-scarred Vietnam veterans to live in peace and harmony, in a place untouched by violence, crime, corruption, or greed. A living Norman Rockwell painting, governed by the most basic values and free of all things considered undesirable by its founders. It was supposed to be paradise. And for a while, it was.

Over the years, some in Elk’s Ridge have grown restless. They fear their refuge has become a prison . . . or a tomb. And they yearn to do the forbidden: escape. But when one desperate bid for freedom ends in a tragic accident, a heinous act of mob justice suddenly tears the idyllic mask from this promised land and the evil its residents sought to keep out blooms from within. Now, as a deadly chain reaction of events threatens the future of Elk’s Ridge, its elders gird for battle against the real world. And a group of terrified teens prepare to make their own stand–against the people they once trusted and the only life they’ve ever known. Because there’s nothing left to do but fight or die.

A chillingly lyrical tale, rendered in starkly beautiful, visceral artwork, Elk’s Run is an unforgettable and unrelentingly powerful graphic novel event not to be missed.

With an introduction by Charlie Houston, author of Already Dead

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“[Elk’s Run] manages to tell the same tale from different points of view, yet make each as compelling as the last. [Grade:] A.”
–Entertainment Weekly

“Creepy . . . fun in a very good way.”

“Damn fine comic making.”
–Brian Michael Bendis, creator of Powers

“Really, really good. The team executes it with great skill.”
–Warren Ellis, creator of Transmetropolitan

Publishers Weekly

Originally serialized as a comic book (until its publisher went under), this coming-of-age thriller appears in its entirety for the first time. The young protagonist, John Kohler, is even more bored and frustrated than most teenagers: he's grown up in the tiny town of Elk's Run, whose fanatical survivalist founders have sealed it off from the rest of the world, turning it into a sort of cross between Mayberry and the Branch Davidian compound. When a fatal accident leads to a revenge lynching and a series of murders, John and his friends try to escape; their parents come after them; and the ensuing cat-and-mouse game involves a mine fire, a stockpile of napalm and a stash of terrorist plans. Tuazon's chunky, scribbly brushwork occasionally seems too crude for a story whose heart is in its gritty precision. Still, his characters' facial and body language is remarkably expressive, and he pulls off some clever visual interpretations of the story�flashbacks to the teenagers' childhoods are drawn in a cartoonier, Archie-inspired style. And although the story is sometimes marred by simplistic characterization (the parents go from cruel disciplinarians to murderous psychotics rather quickly), Fialkov builds the suspense incrementally until the cycle of violence becomes a wave of disasters. (Mar.)

Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal

For a group of disillusioned Vietnam vets, isolationist utopia in a hidden West Virginia valley is "like heaven"-for a time. But small problems grow larger as the valley children mature and dreams dissolve into violence and flames. When a man tries to escape from the valley to join his estranged wife, he accidentally kills a town teen and is horribly executed by tough-ass leader John for violating the town's isolationist "agreement." Then two state troopers show up, and John kills them also. In a cat-and-mouse game in the underground mine, it's John's son, young John, who leads the other teens to escape and bring help for the rest of the town when the mine starts burning. This thriller combines dark and edgy psychodrama infusing the coming-of-age theme with a blurring of the usual good vs. evil clichés. There are no bad guys-only good intentions gone terribly over the edge. The sketchy art and ocher-crimson coloring evoke a lifestyle badly frayed and heading for disaster. The underpinnings of teens vs. parents and idealism vs. ethics make the title a good bet for classroom use. Strong language; recommended for older teens up in public and academic libraries.

School Library Journal

Gr 10 & Up - The inhabitants of Elk's Ridge, WV, have set themselves apart from the rest of society in order to live in their particular version of paradise, but their dream is shattered in short order. Led by a Vietnam vet with a strongly imbedded hunter mentality, the adults have prepared themselves for an onslaught from without. In an old mine shaft, once the town's reason for being and sole source of income, they have stashed guns, ammo, napalm, and all the provisions and plans for self-protection. The town's inevitable downfall, however, comes not from the authorities on the "outside," but from its teenagers. The adults neglected to foresee that their own dream would not necessarily become their children's. When the violence starts, prompted by a tragic accident that leads to an ugly scene of mob justice, the young people immediately begin to question their parents' motives. And when the violence escalates, the questioning turns to rebellion. This is not a particularly new story, but it is precisely and cleverly rendered with believable dialogue, expressive facial and body language, and captivating childhood flashbacks drawn in an innocent cartoon style, in contrast to the main story's angular imagery. While the outcome may appear obvious to some readers, Fialkov provides intriguing twists and turns as he adds to the mounting suspense.-Robert Saunderson, Berkeley Public Library, CA

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Kirkus Reviews
Teenagers in an isolated mountain community start to realize that things are not as they should be. John is sick of Elk's Run, a flyspeck West Virginia village where everybody knows everybody else's business. This is a fairly ordinary adolescent sentiment, but the fact that neither John nor any of the other kids are ever allowed to leave the town's immediate surroundings makes their situation a little less normal. Fialkov's eight-issue small-press comic, collected here for the first time in its entirety, has a killer premise that fairly thrums with apocalyptic foreboding, even if it never quite delivers. Told from the alternating viewpoints of teens and adults, the story concerns a group of Vietnam vets and other disaffected white men who bring their families to a rebuilt mining town under the aegis of a mysterious, wealthy benefactor. The children are raised in a near-idyllic setting where they can't be corrupted by the influence of an outside world the adults despise. But then a drunk-driving accident leaves a child dead, and the perpetrator is punished with brutal vigilante justice. This opens some eyes to the fanatical madness that lies at the heart and soul of Elk's Run, and an intergenerational battle begins. Fialkov's punchy text is undercut by Tuazon's sketchy artwork, as well as the writer's frustrating reluctance to flesh out many of his tale's tangents. The central conflicts build with pulse-quickening relentlessness, but by the conclusion, most readers will be wishing they had been told more about how an entire American town could be kept completely off the grid. A potentially fantastic piece of work, marred by flawed execution.

Product Details

Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
6.60(w) x 9.90(h) x 0.60(d)

Meet the Author

Joshua Hale Fialkov is one the comics most impressive up and coming writers. In his short career, he has already authored comics for IDW, Top Cow and DC Comics, mostly in the horror genre. His most recent work includes SUPERMAN/BATMAN and the monthly series I, VAMPIRE, as a part of DC Comics - The New 52.

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