"Slice" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Stela
Written by Dave Scheidt
Illustrated by Aaron Pittman
2016, 50 Pages
I've never worked in the food industry, but I imagine that the pizza delivery driver is not a great job. You had no hand in making the pizza, but you probably get yelled at by customers over nonsense. Tips can be hit or miss. I didn't think that this would necessarily turn someone into a serial killer, although it would be a pretty good cover. That's where Slice fits. It's a comic about a murderous pizza delivery guy.
Slice starts out with a similar setup as The Karate Kid. Jon and his mom move into a new town. They don't know anyone and Jon already hates it. His mom encourages him to apply for a job at the local pizza place. After passing Ralph Maccio on the way, he quickly gets a gig as a delivery guy because other drivers have been mysteriously disappearing, so there are plenty of openings. While he's learning the ropes from another employee, Jon is chased by a murderer with a pizza wheel who has been slicing and dicing people left and right.
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On the surface, a man with a pizza wheel doesn't sound all that scary. If that's what you think, you need to see how artist Aaron Pittman displays this killer. You will never look at pizza the same way again. In the murderer's hands, this might as well be a machete. It glistens in the moonlight as it silently slices through a victim's throat, leaving a bright red trail of blood in its wake.
The blood is a real standout in Slice. It just so happens to be the same shade as pizza sauce, which is a nice touch. There's something about blood splattered across a pizza box that is just so chilling and a little sad. No one should die before eating their pizza.
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This character is almost always drawn in shadow, which gives him a more mysterious and intimidating presence. He's reminiscent of Michael Myers in this fashion. He never speaks either, just quietly walking up to his prey, ready to kill. We get a thinly veiled origin story for him that is shoehorned into the book towards the very end. In all honesty, we don't need much for a background. He's a guy that's killing pizza delivery drivers.
It's not explicitly stated, but Slice looks like a period piece, probably set in the 1980s. The killer is someone that would have been caught in a few minutes in the age of cellphones. Similarly, Jon could have called for help in seconds if he had an iPhone on him. This makes the book an homage of sorts to classic slasher movies of that era and it definitely works along the same lines. It delivers that sense of tension and excitement that the sub-genre is known for. Plus it has pizza! Who doesn't love pizza?