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2012 Eisner Award Nominee: Best U.S. Edition of International Material
Martin Terrier, ice-cold mercenary-turned-contract-killer, has his future all mapped out: He has just executed
what he intends to be his final job and is ready to move on to the next phase of his life, which involves discreet
retirement accompanied by a long-lost girlfriend. But Terrier’s employers are emphatically not pleased with his
decision, old enemies begin to re-emerge, and soon Terrier is forced to once again ply his brutal trade.
Five years after West Coast Blues, his acclaimed adaptation of Jean-Patrick Manchette’s Le Petit bleu de
la côte ouest (a.k.a. Three to Kill), Jacques Tardi returns to the world of guns, crime, betrayal and bloodshed
with this stunning, grisly, and remarkably faithful interpretation of Manchette’s last completed crime thriller.
Manchette himself claimed to have written the novel in an attempt to emulate the ultraviolent, hellbent-for-leather,
pitch-black ambiance of Robert Aldrich’s Kiss Me Deadly, and Tardi matches him bullet for bullet and
blow for blow. As The Village Voice noted of the original novel (La Position
du tireur couché, released in English under the title
The Prone Gunman by City Lights in 2001), “Thirty pages before the finale, it’s hard not to wonder how the book could possibly end... But the book does end, in circumstances far worse than you might
easily imagine, on a note of extraordinary bleakness.”
"The economical line drawings from cartoonist Jacques
Tardi work brilliantly with the terse dialogue by French noir novelist Jean-Patrick
Manchette, propelling the reader into a fast-paced world where the morally
reprehensible characters become increasingly pathetic." – Eleanor Goodman, Bizarre