A good mixed drink can be quite refreshing on a hot summer’s afternoon.

You can get fancy and complicated with ingredients, preparation techniques, and presentation, but there’s a reason why some of the most popular are simple pairings. Rum & Coke. Gin tonic. Black Russian. Screwdriver. Vodka-Cranberry. Scotch & Soda. Okay, maybe not that last one. Straightforward and to the point drinks.

It can be like that with genre pairings too. And one that goes down quite nicely is horror and noir.

Really smooth. Who the hell is makin’ this for us? “Fella knows his craft of her.”


Moonshine by Brian Azzarello, Eduardo Risso, Cristian Rossiand Jared K. Fletcher is pitch black prohibition perfection, a horror crime drama that blends a conflict of an organized crime family and moonshiners over bootlegging with werewolf shenanigans.

Although the presence of werewolves is fairly integral to the story, it presents itself first and foremost as a crime tale. With an agent of organized crime in New York sent to the Appalachians to work out a deal with a moonshiner. It’s interesting how it focuses on Lou Pirlo, caught between the two factions, especially as you’re wondering a bit about the supernatural aspects at first. Thinking maybe they’re a product of his drinking and guilt over the death of his sister.

The layouts here from Eduardo Risso are some of his most structured. While many of his other works are relatively freeform, or in some widescreen tiers, there’s an increased use of grids in this story. The choice I think works to keep the chaos in check, allowing for the stranger subtleties of the violent mayhem and spooky weirdness in check. The shadows and silhouettes feel a bit more constrained, ratcheting up some tension. Risso also colors his own work here (with an assist from Cristian Rossi) and it’s gorgeous. A limited palette of moody blues and yellows add a great atmosphere to the art.

It’s also interesting to see letters from Jared K. Fletcher here. His lettering here is smaller than usual collaborator Clem Robins and I think it fits with the increased panel count.

I don’t know where I was last night. When I drink my memory’s not the best. And I drink.”

MOON 002

Continuing to build upon and innovate upon crime stories is a hallmark of the collaborations between Azzarello and Risso. It never gets tired. It never gets boring. The pair just continue to find new ways to draw you in and keep you hooked. Moonshine from Azzarello, Risso, Rossi, and Fletcher adds a little hair of the dog to the mix and the result is intoxicating.

I would be remiss, though, if I didn’t warn folks that there is a racial slur used in the book. From the mouth of a kid at that. While it may be historically accurate with attitudes from white people in the area at the time, I’m often personally taken out of a story when it happens. I understand people who prefer not to see it at all.


Classic Comic Compendium: MOONSHINE VOLUME 1

Moonshine – Volume 1
Writer: Brian Azzarello
Artist: Eduardo Risso
Color Assistant: Cristian Rossi
Letterer: Jared K. Fletcher
Publisher: Image Comics
Release Date: October 5 2016 – March 29 2017 (original issues)

Read past entries in the Classic Comic Compendium!