Tag Archives: Matt Hawkins

The Greatest Books We’re Reading in 2016: Postal


Matt Hawkins, Brian Hill and Isaac Goodhart created a marvelous and engaging tale about a mail man with Asperger’s who finds himself in the middle of an intricate war and a bid for power. Postal is one of the greatest books on the shelf, loaded with fantastic characters and a few great twists, the popular Image title immediately squeezes its way into the must-read column.

And that’s really not a result of the book’s ruthlessness (it can indeed be pretty effin’ ruthless), it’s a result of nurturing of personalities. We care about Mark. We care about Maggie. We even become quite invested in the story’s antagonists. They’re a colorful lot, and the manner in which Hawkins and Hill blur the details and the line between good and evil, we’re never entirely certain of who is shady and who isn’t. I enjoy that enigmatic quality.

A murder mystery with some strong elements of horror (the secret’s floating throughout the town offer plenty of genre fuel, and things only seem to be escalating as the story continues), Postal is one of the greatest books you can read right now. It’s such a refined piece of work that looks and reads in pitch-perfect fashion. Postal cannot be avoided or slept on – it’s just too good for that.

Each arc is being released in collected volumes. You can volume one right here, while volume two can be purchased here. Volume three will be available for purchase next month. If you have trouble tracking down a few of the earlier issues, the old trade paperback is a safe way to go.

For now we want to bring you up to speed on the story, without spoiling it for you. Just in case, you know, you’ve had your head buried in the sand.

Dig on our top moment from each of the first four books.

Favorite Moment from Postal #1

Mark takes a bullet.
Mark takes a bullet.

Favorite Moment from Postal #2

postal favorite scene 2
Mark begins the journey into his family past.

Favorite Moment from Postal #3

Mark meets his mysterious father.
Mark meets his mysterious father.

Favorite Moment from Postal #4

Revenge can be brutal and bloody.
Revenge can be brutal and bloody.

Here we offer you a look at each cover from the first four issues, which are what make up the first volume TPB. Speaking of the TPB, we’ve also got a look at the cover for that as well:

 

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‘Postal Volume 2’ Review


The second volume of Postal differs greatly from its predecessor. While the focus of volume 1 is the connection of key players, a reunion between a violent man – thought long dead – and his son, who suffers from Asperger’s Syndrome. It’s also about the town of Eden and its slow shift in trajectory. Eden isn’t going to look quite as peaceful as initially perceived, but from the looks of things it’s going to take some time to reach an outright unravelling point, or, for that matter even a simple changing of the guard.

In Volume 2 writers Matt Hawkins and Bryan Hill create a slew of new subplots, but, unfortunately, push Mark’s problems a bit further into the background than I’d personally care to see. Where Volume 1 was focused on Mark first and foremost, Volume 2 is stretched to focus on a series of other personalities and budding struggles.

There’s a slight tonal change between each volume, and though our characters still feel like they felt in the first volume, the plans, and steps required to see those plans through, are beginning to feel markedly different.

Ultimately we’re left with more questions than ever before. The first volume produced some compelling answers while keeping secrets alive. Volume 2 spreads inquiries across a number of differing ideas. In this book we take a lengthy examination at a child killer, new tactics from the FBI and a plan to commit cold-blooded murder. These are but a few of the mysteries. Many more are thriving within these pages.

While I can’t claim to be as engrossed in Volume 2 as I was in Volume 1, there are still some fine qualities to admire. And again, Matt Hawkins and Bryan Hill keep our characters on the human side, illuminating qualities and flaws. Isaac Goodhart is also still living up to his end of the arrangement, giving us more beautiful artwork to gawk at.

I enjoyed Volume 2 quite a bit, but I’ve also got hopes that we bring Mark, his mother, Eden’s mysterious patriarch and the lovely waitress Maggie, back into more contained plots – truly together again, if you will. Postal is beginning to feel extremely broad, which comes across as a bit odd, as the first book kept the narrative very tightly spun, and that made our characters and their own conflicts and demons considerably more hypnotic.

We’ll see where this trio take the story next!

Order Volume 2 right here.

Rating: 4/5

Postal Volume 2

‘Postal Volume 1’ Review


Welcome to Eden, Wyoming. It’s a quiet community of just over 2,000. It looks comfortable. It looks welcoming. It looks safe. Looks can be deceiving.

Mark is the local mailman, afflicted with Asperger’s Syndrome, in love with a waitress named Maggie, and curious. Too curious. See, Mark is determined to learn the secrets of his town, and when a strange young lady surfaces, dead as John Denver (God rest the man’s soul), Mark’s life takes a sudden and terrifying turn.

The identity of the deceased is eventually learned, as Mark, as dedicated as he’s ever been, follows the breadcrumbs until he’s standing at the door to another existence. It’s an existence that will change his every perception of life, and an existence that will bring his unknown past to the surface.

But does Mark truly want to learn of who is? Of who his mother, the shady Mayor, is? Or how about his father, mysteriously absent from his life, does he really want to know the fate of his father, and what will it do to his already fragile mind, learning the truth?

I’m working hard to avoid spoilers, as this is such a magnetic and engrossing read that spoiling the details of the story feels criminal. I can’t bring myself to do it, but I can tell you this: From the moment Mark solemnly speaks the words “I’m used to the way you hurt me, mom,” you realize that Matt Hawkins and Bryan Hill are brilliant talents, capable of turning a graphic novel into an emotional experience.

There are few books as impressive as Postal on the market today. Isaac Goodhart is another piece of this awe inspiring puzzle, as his artwork is a refreshing and enlightening element of the book that deserves a wealth of respect. He gives us the kind of visuals that empower a narrative, and this particular narrative is already so powerful that it needs no assistance. Needless to say, with Goodhart involved, Postal ascends from the ranks of an excellent book to the ranks of a beautiful masterpiece.

This mysterious thriller will have you tearing through the pages (figuratively speaking, of course), frantic to uncover answers. Fortunately for fans of darker, mystery driven comics, Matt Hawkins and Bryan Hill are nurturing this story with the utmost care. We’ll have our answers, but we’ll be guided through much more chaos before we reach our destination. This is a ride I’d like to take forever.

Order Postal Volume 1 right here.

Rating: 5/5

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