Turf by Jonathan Ross and Tommy Lee Edwards

Book Review by Keir Hind | 08 Sep 2011
Book title: Turf
Author: Jonathan Ross and Tommy Lee Edwards


Turf is Jonathan Ross’s debut as writer of a comic series, and this collection of the first five issues, which form a complete story, is a winner. It’s set in 1920s New York, a familiar scene with speakeasies, gangsters, gunfights, vampires, aliens… wait, what? Though it’s set in the 20s, this is really Ross’s tribute to the lurid, melodramatic, and fantastic horror comics of the 70s. Artist Tommy Lee Edwards is as much of a star here as Ross was on the telly, marshalling a large cast of characters using inspired layouts. The story, should you be interested, is that a turf war breaks out between the four ruling gangs of New York, but it’s maybe too much to handle – because it’s vampires that are assailing them. But more than that, internal politics of the gangs, and the vampire horde, play a part, it’s all followed by intrepid – too intrepid – newshound Susie Randall, and it moves at a hell of a pace. Fanboy references abound – e.g. Don Mario Bava, the ‘Face of Bo!’ and a Clifford Odets shoutout for the theatre kids – and the whole thing ends with a great fight, and the promise of more to come. Smashing stuff. [Keir Hind]


Releases on 23 Sep. Published by Titan Books. Cover price £19.99 hardback