Sergio Leone’s retooling of classic westerns for his “spaghetti westerns”…
Stieg Larsson’s striking take on the serial killer/mystery thriller in The Girl With
the Dragon Tattoo… And for that matter ABBA’s fiendishly catchy appropriation
of American pop music. Sometimes it takes Europeans to make gold of
tuckered-out American tropes.
Add to those instances of inspired global cross-pollination the Spanish cartoonist
Martí’s eye-popping The Cabbie, which spins off Martin Scorsese’s
sordid urban-justice drama Taxi Driver with a graphic style that unapologetically
appropriates and even refines the brutal slabs of black, squashed perspectives,
and grotesque approach to human physiognomy (and its ability to withstand
punishment) that define Chester Gould’s Dick Tracy.
And as Art Spiegelman (who was the first to publish Martí’s work in English, in RAW magazine) notes in his introduction,
while “Gould’s graphic black and white precision and his diagrammatic clarity live on in Martí’s work,” he points
out that “more interestingly, perhaps, so does Gould’s depravity.” Indeed, if anything, The Cabbie is even more savage
than the legendarily brutal Dick Tracy, with its pimps, whores, petty thieves, corrupt businessmen, all swirling around
the ingenuously violent “Cabbie” whose self-administered “upstanding citizen” status entitles him — in his view — to
even more shocking acts of violence — especially on his quest for the stolen coffin of his father, which he’s told includes
his entire inheritance!
"A bold graphic novel... It's definitely stunning: When was the last time you got in a cab tricked out with tear gas pipes and a back seat tricked out like an electric chair? On second thought, don't tell us..." – Alternative Press