Jackie Fuentes (Killer Groove)

Created by Ollie Masters and Eoin Marron

It’s the early Seventies, and the Swingin’ Sixties are definitely over, but that doesn’t mean musicians aren’t still pouring into Los Angeles, desperate to stoke the star-making machinery of the popular song, in the 2019 five-part comic mini-series Killer Groove.

Struggling singer-songwriter Jonny is one of them. He’s a Jimmy Thudpucker-looking motherfiucker, all shaggy blond hair and Doonesbury eyes, working a crappy bar gig, and drinking now and then with his pal (and would-be love interest) JACKIE FUENTESa disgraced Cuban-American ex-cop with a drinking problem, trying to squeeze out a living as a private eye (fifty buck a day, plus expenses).

But both their lives take weird bounces when Jonny befriends Iggy, a local assassin, and ends up supplementing his income with an occasional hit. Even weirder, it seems to inspiring his music as well. But weirdest of all? He’s starting to like killing (“That’s super fucked up, man,” Iggy says).

Meanwhile, Jackie’s trying to find fourteen year-old Lucy’s father (her mother’s on tour with “her band”). Oh, and Jackie’s dope-smoking gay Uncle Raul from Miami has just turned up and moved in, while various thugs (and possibly some federal agents) scour the city, looking for him.

The story’s catchy enough, but spins its wheels slowly at first. About midpoint, however, it all comes together, as Jackie and Jonny cross paths at a party hosted by an obnoxious British rock star, in a twist right out of a Tarantino flick, and from that point on, I was hooked. Especially when it becomes clear the two of them are on a collision course…

The noirish (and seemingly rushed) pay-off isn’t quite what I’d hoped for, and the skittery, scratchy artwork (also apparently rushed) never quite makes it all the way for me, but I wouldn’t mind seeing Jackie again.

UNDER OATH

  • Killer Groove is a straight up, historical crime story which draws inspiration from cinema and literary classics. There is an element of Raymond Chandler and Mikey Spillane in these pages but also more modern influences like Brubaker and Max Allan Collins.”
    — Darryll Robson (Monkeys Fighting Robots)

COMICS

  • KILLER GROOVE
    (2019, AfterShock Comics)
    Written by Ollie Masters
    Art by Eoin Marron

    • “Track One: Can’t You Hear Me?” (May 29, 2019)
    • “Track Two: Dirty Work”(June 26, 2019)
    • “Track Three: Let It Bleed” (July 24, 2019)
    • “Track Four” (August 21, 2019)
    • “Track Five: Gotta Get Down to It”(October 16, 2019)

GRAPHIC NOVELS

Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

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