Most fans are accustomed to comics and graphic novels coming from a comic book publisher like DC or Marvel. If not one of the big two, then some independent publisher like Image Comics or Boom! Studios. It’s not often that a graphic novel will hit shelves thanks to donations from Kickstarter. Furthermore, it’s even less likely that a crowdfunded comic book will boast such a prolific team. The Golem of Venice Beach comes from the mind of writer Chanan Bezier. Bezier’s original script won the inaugural ScreenCraft Cinematic Book contest in 2018.
Bezier worked with artist Vanessa Cardinali on the bulk of The Golem of Venice Beach. Cardinali illustrated 100 pages of the 152-page story. Meanwhile, a number of high-profile creators are responsible for the remaining pages. Creators such as Bill Sienkiewicz (New Mutants), Mike Allred (Madman), Jae Lee (The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger Born), Paul Pope (Battling Boy), Nick Pitarra (Ax-Wielder Jon), and even Stephen Bissette put in work on the rest of the graphic novel.
What’s so great about Vanessa Cardinali’s artistry is her ability to not only create magnificent comic panels but also to make the whole of the page come alive. An example is her portrayal of an intimate conversation between two main characters set amidst the famous Venice Beach Graffiti Walls. Most artists could easily make use of the colorful background. What sets Vanessa apart is the way she lends a skewed angle that gives a hint of character and balances the page itself. It enhances the cinematic intent I envisioned for the book. Add to that her penchant for color use in ways I’d never even thought to utilize. Her innate eye infuses a comic panel with a vibrancy that suits The Golem of Venice Beach perfectly.
What Is The Graphic Novel About?
The Golem of Venice Beach follows Adam, the titular golem, who is a creature of vengeance and destruction. He lives out his days in Southern California on the Venice boardwalk. Created 400 years prior in Eastern Europe, Adam hopes the clueless heir of his creator can help with his lonely existence. However, with a war between police and a mysterious death cult brewing, things get messy.