Multiple Warheads is a seriously bizarre comic by writer-artist Brandon Graham. Known for his epic manga about cat-masters, King City, and his critically-lauded reinvention of the much-derided Rob Liefield science-fiction book Prophet, Graham has a history of occasionally letting his id loose on comics projects. Usually he lets it loose in short stories for dirty books or on his blog, but it seems that he has finally unleashed the beast in Multiple Warheads. Originally a one-shot from Oni Press (now out of print, and no digital either–though Graham did mention it would be included in the eventual Multiple Warheads collection), the story follows organ-smuggler Sexica and her half-werewolf (I’ll let you figure out which half) boyfriend Nik as they escape their city and go on a road trip.
Along the way they deal with talking cars, singing cigarettes, weird animals, robots, ghosts, monks, and as many visual and lexical puns as one human being can jam pack into a candy-colored page of comics. Graham’s art, equally inspired by his history in graffiti, childhood love of manga and devotion to Moebius, is alternatingly jam-packed and sparse. There are wide-open landscapes, blank skies, and densely packed (with characters, buildings, vehicles and jokes) cities, all boasting a gorgeously pastel ice cream paint job.
The story also follows a mysterious assassin who’s looking to collect some heads. His story, with a mysterious mission and unknown counter-assassin, is a nice action-packed counterpart to Nik and Sexica’s discussions of breakfast and taking turns driving. Both are heading towards the same finish, so they’re bound to cross paths sooner or later.
The book is charmingly bizarre and sometimes so punny that it can be difficult to understand which direction a conversation is heading, but all of the tiny jokes and minuscule references can have you staring at the gorgeous art for hours on end. The book is rated M for mature, mostly because Graham’s sexy comics past means he can’t pass up a good bit of cheesecake or jokey reference, but the story is more romantic than bawdy and certainly more chaste than some mainstream comics that I’ve read
The last issue is due out next week (February 6) and it contains 8 extra pages! At $2.99, for such a beautifully printed color comic so densely packed with excellence, it’s a steal. Speaking of which, the first issue of Multiple Warheads: Alphabet to Infinity is available now for free on digital comics service Comixology, which you can read in-browser or on the digital media device of your choice. If you’re thirsting for more Brandon Graham, though his main blog is updated infrequently, his posts are always massive (and usually partially NSFW). The same (NSFW) goes for his much more frequently-updated but less dense tumblr.