#23, Best Comics (First Run or Definitively Collected) of 2009, The Comics Reporter
Prison Pit is an original graphic novel from the pen of Johnny Ryan, best known for his humor comic, Angry Youth Comix. Prison Pit represents a marked departure from AYC or his Blecky Yuckerella weekly comic strip, combining his love for WWE wrestling, Gary Panter’s “Jimbo” comics, and Kentaro Miura’s “Berserk” Manga into a brutal showcase of violence, survival and revenge. Imagine a blend of old-fashioned role playing fantasy games like Dungeons & Dragons crossed with contemporary adult video games like Grand Theft Auto, filtered through Ryan’s sense of humor.
The book begins with C.F. (his full-name would be too horrifying to reveal here) being thrown into the Prison Pit, a barren negative-zone populated by intergalactic, violent monster criminals. In this first volume, C.F. gets into a bloody slorge war (a slorge is a giant slug that excretes a steroid-like drug called “fecid” that all the monster men are addicted to) with ultraprisoner Rottweiler Herpes and his henchmen Rabies Bloodbath and Assrat. The ensuing bloodbath is an over-the-top, hyperviolent yet hilarious farce worthy of Ryan’s inspiration, Kentaro Miura.
Download an EXCLUSIVE PDF excerpt of the first 12 pages (480 KB).
Ardent Vein Performs Chapter 1 of Prison Pit at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery, 10/10/09 (YouTube link):
"It may be one of the best comics ever. It actually makes me want to stop drawing comics, as if I’ve been going about it all wrong." – Michael Fiffe, The Daily Cross Hatch, "The Best Damned Comics of 2009 Chosen by the Artists"
"Just pure bloody mayhem and fun." – John Isaacson, The Daily Cross Hatch, "The Best Damned Comics of 2009 Chosen by the Artists"
"Perhaps the best and also craziest comic Johnny Ryan has made yet. Definitely adults only. There's no hidden meaning, deep metaphor, life lessons, etc. just crazy, funny action adventure. I hope he does 1,000 pages of this and it comes out as a huge weird omnibus." – Jeffrey Brown
"With nowhere near as much potty-mouth dialogue as in Ryan’s ridiculously scabrous
Angry Youth Comix and Blecky Yuckerella, this combat-fantasy jape is a verbal pussycat in comparison,
but that is offset by the nauseating blood, guts, and excretions splattered all over its ludicrously crude
action. For splatter-movie fans and anyone trying to grok the splatter-movie ethos, not to be missed."
– Ray Olson, Booklist
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