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Prison Pit

Overview

A full-on fantasy adventure from Johnny Ryan, inspired by Manga and videogame culture.Prison Pit is an original graphic novel from the pen of Johnny Ryan, best known for his humor comic Angry Youth Comix. Prison Pit represents a marked departure from AYC or his Blecky Yuckerella weekly comic strip, combining his love for WWE wrestling, Gary Panter’s “Jimbo” comics, and Kentaro Miura’s “Berserk” manga into a brutal showcase of violence, survival and revenge. Imagine a blend of old-fashioned role playing fantasy ...

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Overview

A full-on fantasy adventure from Johnny Ryan, inspired by Manga and videogame culture.Prison Pit is an original graphic novel from the pen of Johnny Ryan, best known for his humor comic Angry Youth Comix. Prison Pit represents a marked departure from AYC or his Blecky Yuckerella weekly comic strip, combining his love for WWE wrestling, Gary Panter’s “Jimbo” comics, and Kentaro Miura’s “Berserk” manga into a brutal showcase of violence, survival and revenge. Imagine a blend of old-fashioned role playing fantasy games like Dungeons & Dragons crossed with contemporary adult video games like Grand Theft Auto, filtered through Ryan’s sense of humor.
The book begins with C.F. (his full-name would be too horrifying to reveal here) being thrown into the Prison Pit, a barren negative-zone populated by intergalactic, violent monster criminals. In this first volume, C.F. gets into a bloody slorge war (a slorge is a giant slug that excretes a steroid-like drug called “fecid” that all the monster men are addicted to) with ultraprisoner Rottweiler Herpes and his henchmen Rabies Bloodbath and Assrat. The ensuing bloodbath is an over-the-top, hyperviolent yet hilarious farce worthy of Ryan’s inspiration, Kentaro Miura.

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Editorial Reviews

Vice
“[Prison Pit] is great and an essential read since so few new good comics get made. ... If you love or hate Johnny R. you gotta get this…It is important. Buy buy buy.”— Nick Gazin
Mania
“The Good: Prison Pit reminded me a lot of Gwar, professional wrestling and the comic strips my friends and I used to draw in junior high. ... It was gross as hell and filled with blood and gore and just straight-up repulsive juvenile humor. It was a lot of fun. The Bad: It’s probably too awesome for a lot of people to handle. ... The Bottom Line: Dude, it’s great. Just shut up and buy it. ...I’m giving Prison Pit an A and as soon as I’m done writing this review, I’m going to sit down and re-read it.”— Chad Derdowski
Robot 6
“Johnny Ryan’s Prison Pit is something I keep coming back to — and not just because it’s the only comic book I’ve ever seen that can actively liven up a party. It’s a hilarious, visceral and quick read… for really dumb fun, this is pretty much unbeatable.”— David Uzumeri
Booklist
“For splatter-movie fans and anyone trying to grok the splatter-movie ethos, not to be missed.”— Ray Olson
comiXology
“Aggro, obscene, hilarious, compulsive: Prison Pit. It wasn't just the greatest comic of the year, it was one of those comics that operated like the end result of a math equation, a definitive answer to the question of what comics are, and what they should be.”— Tucker Stone
retroCRUSH
“Next to Jughead, Johnny’s about the best thing going on in comic books these days, so don’t be a chump and wait until they make some perverted documentary about him and he’s some hipster darling! ACT NOW!”
Comicsphere
Prison Pit is insane; it is a title that simply shouldn’t exist outside of a teenager’s head. But it does, and it’s brilliant. A forgotten level of comedic violence, an absence of exposition and dialogue that all reduces down into a paste of pure barbaric fun.”— Kevin Scully
Graphic NYC
“Johnny Ryan draws the bad pictures. Unapologetically and lots of ‘em and I hope to god he never stops. …Prison Pit… kinda’ sorta’ kicks serious ass. ... The story definitely puts the GORE in phantasmagorical… you can smell it from miles away.”— Jared Gniewek
supervillain
“Book of ‘09... If the point of comics is f—-ed up s—- happening, this is the best f—-ing comic ever made.”— Sean Witzke
Awesome Engine
“Next to Scott Pilgrim this felt to me like the western comic that’s got closest to properly understanding the energy of manga, rather than simply aping the surface elements. ... It’s the best art I’ve seen Ryan do in his career.”— Brian Smith
Jog: The Blog
“This is the best comic Johnny Ryan has ever drawn. And I'm the guy that ranked the last Angry Youth Comix in his Best of 2008....You've gotta see it to believe it. That final scene might as well last forever and end the story for good—it works perfectly—though the title says there's sequels. I hope there's a dozen.”— Joe McCulloch
Articulate Nerd
“Refreshingly devoid of any literary or artistic pretensions, this first of what I hope will be many, many volumes nevertheless comes across as somehow one of the smartest and well crafted books of the year. No, really.”— Patrick Markfort
The Faster Times
“[An] over-the-top, ultra-violent, gross-out juvenile, yet fun and hilarious book... The dialogue that does exist retains his comic sense of disjunction and fights are as demented as you’d expect. This is not a jokey book, but his humor is retained in subtle ways—if you can envision subtle Johnny Ryan humor. ... This is just a balls-out, funny, sicko, good time. My only complaint with Prison Pit is how quickly the story ends, but hopefully the subtitle (Book One) is a promise and not a joke.”— Lincoln Michel
Comic Book Galaxy
“Unlike anything Ryan's done thematically… Prison Pit is a non-stop action comic. It's pretty successful in that regard, with imaginative character designs and some surprising battles... And although the genre is different, Ryan can't seem to deviate from a fascinating mix of sex and violence and bodily fluids.”— Christopher Allen
The Bureau Chiefs
“Amazingly, I was sucked in by the whole enterprise, laughing and groaning and shaking my head. ... These are ugly characters in a gross situation, and Prison Pit treats them with all the indulgence and nastiness needed.”— Mark Hale
The Comics Journal
“[T]he single-minded commitment to vileness is so perversely pure that it goes right past lowest-common-denominator entertainment and on into snooty, fancy-pants art. ... Ryan’s world is essentially Waiting for Godot, from the bleak landscape to the slapstick violence.”— Noah Berlatsky
The Comics Reporter
“I wish to add my voice to the chorus of those who really, really like Johnny Ryan's left-hand turn into violent fantasy… [E]very scene in Prison Pit seemed to flow naturally from the previous one right up to the brutally funny, icky and appropriate ending. I hope there are ten more.”— Tom Spurgeon
The Daily Cross-Hatch
“While Prison Pit does, in fact, have a definable story throughout, it’s one that feels as though it were crafted in the margins of a spiral-bound notebooks stowed safely away in some backpack littered with the Sharpie penned names of metal bands. And though Ryan didn’t go so far as to in append a listening soundtrack to the back of this volume, one can almost certainly be assured that it contains its share of Cannibal Corpse and Slayer tracks.”— Brian Heater
The Forbidden Planet International Blog Log
“Johnny Ryan takes ideas and styles that have been knocking around the art comics scene for the last few years, and injects them with gallons of fun, attitude and humour. My favourite new comic of the year!”— Richard Cowdry
Nick Gazin - Vice
“[Prison Pit] is great and an essential read since so few new good comics get made. ... If you love or hate Johnny R. you gotta get this…It is important. Buy buy buy.”
Chad Derdowski - Mania
“The Good: Prison Pit reminded me a lot of Gwar, professional wrestling and the comic strips my friends and I used to draw in junior high. ... It was gross as hell and filled with blood and gore and just straight-up repulsive juvenile humor. It was a lot of fun. The Bad: It’s probably too awesome for a lot of people to handle. ... The Bottom Line: Dude, it’s great. Just shut up and buy it. ...I’m giving Prison Pit an A and as soon as I’m done writing this review, I’m going to sit down and re-read it.”
Chris Mautner - Robot 6
“Prison Pit... is nothing less than a continuous, no-holds barred, violent assault on the eyes. It is literally one god damned, bloody fight scene after another... The book's genius lies in Ryan's sheer nerve and imagination in setting up these battles; he constantly ups the ante in the most bizarre and inventive ways possible. ... Ryan's love of body functions goes into full gonzo mode here. ...you've got a book where body horror extends far beyond the repulsive into the truly sublime and inspired. ... Despite the gore, or perhaps, because of it, Prison Pit is a fantastic, accomplished work.”
David Uzumeri - Robot 6
“Johnny Ryan’s Prison Pit is something I keep coming back to — and not just because it’s the only comic book I’ve ever seen that can actively liven up a party. It’s a hilarious, visceral and quick read… for really dumb fun, this is pretty much unbeatable.”
Ray Olson - Booklist
“For splatter-movie fans and anyone trying to grok the splatter-movie ethos, not to be missed.”
Tucker Stone - comiXology
“Aggro, obscene, hilarious, compulsive: Prison Pit. It wasn't just the greatest comic of the year, it was one of those comics that operated like the end result of a math equation, a definitive answer to the question of what comics are, and what they should be.”
Kevin Scully - Comicsphere
“Prison Pit is insane; it is a title that simply shouldn’t exist outside of a teenager’s head. But it does, and it’s brilliant. A forgotten level of comedic violence, an absence of exposition and dialogue that all reduces down into a paste of pure barbaric fun.”
Jared Gniewek - Graphic NYC
“Johnny Ryan draws the bad pictures. Unapologetically and lots of ‘em and I hope to god he never stops. …Prison Pit… kinda’ sorta’ kicks serious ass. ... The story definitely puts the GORE in phantasmagorical… you can smell it from miles away.”
Sean Witzke - supervillain
“Book of ‘09... If the point of comics is f—-ed up s—- happening, this is the best f—-ing comic ever made.”
Brian Smith - Awesome Engine
“Next to Scott Pilgrim this felt to me like the western comic that’s got closest to properly understanding the energy of manga, rather than simply aping the surface elements. ... It’s the best art I’ve seen Ryan do in his career.”
Joe McCulloch - Jog - The Blog
“This is the best comic Johnny Ryan has ever drawn. And I'm the guy that ranked the last Angry Youth Comix in his Best of 2008....You've gotta see it to believe it. That final scene might as well last forever and end the story for good—it works perfectly—though the title says there's sequels. I hope there's a dozen.”
Patrick Markfort - Articulate Nerd
“Refreshingly devoid of any literary or artistic pretensions, this first of what I hope will be many, many volumes nevertheless comes across as somehow one of the smartest and well crafted books of the year. No, really.”
Lincoln Michel - The Faster Times
“[An] over-the-top, ultra-violent, gross-out juvenile, yet fun and hilarious book... The dialogue that does exist retains his comic sense of disjunction and fights are as demented as you’d expect. This is not a jokey book, but his humor is retained in subtle ways—if you can envision subtle Johnny Ryan humor. ... This is just a balls-out, funny, sicko, good time. My only complaint with Prison Pit is how quickly the story ends, but hopefully the subtitle (Book One) is a promise and not a joke.”
Christopher Allen - Comic Book Galaxy
“Unlike anything Ryan's done thematically… Prison Pit is a non-stop action comic. It's pretty successful in that regard, with imaginative character designs and some surprising battles... And although the genre is different, Ryan can't seem to deviate from a fascinating mix of sex and violence and bodily fluids.”
Mark Hale - The Bureau Chiefs
“Amazingly, I was sucked in by the whole enterprise, laughing and groaning and shaking my head. ... These are ugly characters in a gross situation, and Prison Pit treats them with all the indulgence and nastiness needed.”
Noah Berlatsky - The Comics Journal
“[T]he single-minded commitment to vileness is so perversely pure that it goes right past lowest-common-denominator entertainment and on into snooty, fancy-pants art. ... Ryan’s world is essentially Waiting for Godot, from the bleak landscape to the slapstick violence.”
Tom Spurgeon - The Comics Reporter
“I wish to add my voice to the chorus of those who really, really like Johnny Ryan's left-hand turn into violent fantasy… [E]very scene in Prison Pit seemed to flow naturally from the previous one right up to the brutally funny, icky and appropriate ending. I hope there are ten more.”
Brian Heater - The Daily Cross-Hatch
“While Prison Pit does, in fact, have a definable story throughout, it’s one that feels as though it were crafted in the margins of a spiral-bound notebooks stowed safely away in some backpack littered with the Sharpie penned names of metal bands. And though Ryan didn’t go so far as to in append a listening soundtrack to the back of this volume, one can almost certainly be assured that it contains its share of Cannibal Corpse and Slayer tracks.”
Richard Cowdry - The Forbidden Planet International Blog Log
“Johnny Ryan takes ideas and styles that have been knocking around the art comics scene for the last few years, and injects them with gallons of fun, attitude and humour. My favourite new comic of the year!”
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781606992975
  • Publisher: Fantagraphics Books
  • Publication date: 10/20/2009
  • Series: Prison Pit Series
  • Pages: 120
  • Sales rank: 573,057
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Johnny Ryanwas born in Boston, MA, and lives in Los Angeles, CA, with his wife and his daughter. Currently, he is co-creating the forthcoming Pig Goat Banana Cricket series for Nickelodeon. In addition to his creator-owned comics series, he's contributed toVice, Mad, and LA Weekly, among other clients.

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