Mesmo Delivery


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Mesmo Delivery


  • Words: Rafael Grampa
  • Art: Rafael Grampa
  • Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
  • Price: $9.99
  • Release Date: Feb 10, 2010

This crazy original graphic novel has been widely praised, and deservedly so. Originally self published and distributed by AdHouse Books, this new edition from Dark Horse is complemented with a new cover, a Brian Azzarello foreword, and a juicy sketchbook section. Brazilian creator Rafael Grampa's work of sequential art is a manic display of what is possible in this medium. It's a dizzying joy to behold, and is filled with so many non-American approaches to presenting a story in comics form that it screams its newness after only the first few pages.

As Grampa notes, the inspiration for this tale is a simple one and came from his father's truck driving job, and Grampa's own love of TV's The Twilight Zone as immediate points of reference. They are the spokes on which this speeding bike is linked though, and in no way do those humble story keys allude to the madness of Mesmo.

Fully centred in that madness is Rufo, a former pugilist who is on his way to deliver a precious, and mysterious, cargo, along with the wily Sangrecco, who serves as the company rep and hides a dastardly secret underneath his wild Wolverine style hair. After turning the last page, the Twilight Zone influence shines brightly, or rather caws loudly like a crow in the shadows. The ending isn't really an ending at all, despite what the last page says. It almost feels like there's a "To Be Continued" written somewhere in invisible ink.

For those who may be disappointed by this non-conclusion, the four pin-ups by Mike Allred, Eduardo Risso,  Craig Thompson, and Fabio Moon (what  a line-up!) should more than suffice, and the sixteen page making-of section, with sketches and notes by Grampa, just cements the man's artistic talent. Truth be told, it's that artistic talent that gives Mesmo Delivery its zany nature. The actual plot couldn't be more simple, i.e., man walks into truckstop, gets in fight, and is aided by his friend in the bloody fisticuffs. It really is that simple, and seems like the description of any action film from the '80s. However, Grampa fills the pages with such unexpected developments, including a two page intermission, and a ladies' man/amputee that it's hard not to be swept up in its extravagance. The dialogue, translated by Julio Mairena and "localised" by Viking's Ivan Brandon, is filled with machismo and the occasional reference to Elvis and Shazam.

With page layouts somewhat similar to J.H. Williams' current work on Detective Comics and a unique four color approach to the visuals, one turn of any page is all anyone should need to be immersed in its bold stance. Be warned though that this is strictly for mature readers only. There's more bloodletting and profanity  than a Tarantino flick, especially when Sangrecco's so-called "performance" with twin curved blades erupts on the unsuspecting locals.

With a highly detailed, yet free flowing and exaggerated style similar to Geoff Darrow or Frank Quitely, Grampa shows himself to be an immense talent who is clearly having fun throwing "what the?" moments at the reader. Grampa's experience in animation and graphic design shows, with every character captured beautifully, from the hulking and quiet Rufo to the kinetic appearance of Sangrecco and his vicious ninja-like moves.

Thankfully, Grampa is returning to comics once more, with Dark Horse releasing his next project this year, entitled Furry Water, with an eager audience waiting, I'm sure.


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  • Lee Newman

    Lee Newman Feb 18, 2010 at 1:19pm

    Once upon a time, I thought this was the beginning of a trilogy, of course I can't find that info, although he told RObot 6 that he would like to possibly create an ongoing about the characters.

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