Matt Wagner's Grendel: Red, White ∧ Black, the second collected volume of stories about the mysterious, demonic crime boss Grendel. Literally black and white and red all over, the book collects stunningly executed artwork and short tales from several of the top artists and writers in comics, including Wagner himself. The segments range from Jill Thompson's painterly kewpies to Jim Mahfood's hip-hop style to the gritty scrawls of Michael Zulli, all starring the deadly Grendel, who wields a two-pronged sword and a renegade vision of justice that spells doom for shady two-bit mobsters. The ultraviolence is extreme in places, but the three-color scheme keeps it simple and surprisingly beautiful.

Becky Ohlsen keeps her comics collection in Portland, Oregon.

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