retro review by Bobby Blakey
I have been following Kyle Hotz work for years in both comics and social media. I am always blown away by his work and even more so when he posts his classic church sketches that are better than a lot of the work in the comic industry. In the late 90s the comic imprint Sirius most known for the series Dawn was honored to bring Hotz creator owned series Mosiac to the masses and I am not sure how I missed it. Thankfully I was able to get my hands on the complete mini-series so thought it needed to be shared once again for anyone else that missed out on its greatness.
Mosaic follows a grim future filled with corruption, sadism and greed, Mosiac is the uncompromising story of a man searching for a way out. In the ghetto-like annex of Stirling City, aptly titled City Hel, Mosaic is a cyborg-for-hire with a problem. Four years ago he thought he killed a dangerous psychotic who had murdered his best friend’s sister. Now, the killer is back and destroying Mosaic’s life--one eviscerated body at a time. To save the lives of his friends, Mosaic must find the killer and escape City Hel before time runs out.
I can’t express how much I loved this series, but I am sure going to try. I sat down to read issue one and couldn’t put it down and ended up reading the entire 5 issue series in one sitting. I know that isn’t a ton to read at once, but it was just so great on every level I couldn’t stop and wanted more. If you have never seen any of Hotz’s work then you are missing out and need to rectify that situation instantly. Currently he has been churning out varying covers and interiors
through DC if I am not mistaken and they looks as beautiful as ever. His art has always stood out with its own unique style, but as I read through this series I felt a vibe that mixed with influences from artists such as James O’Barr, Tim Vigil, Bernie Wrightson and Kelley Jones all wrapped up in a perfect style all his own.
Make no mistake, his art is not a copycat style but one that stands all its own in its stylistic perfection. I am kind of picky on my black and white comics because most of them loose the depth and impact but Hotz’s work is the exact opposite. It is so insanely detailed and executed that it almost feels full color in a strange brilliant way. The use of the shadows and contrasts make it so much more than just a black and white comic. I honestly think it might look strange to have it in color and take away from his pure artistic brilliance.
I could go on and on about how amazing and detailed the art is, but want to discuss the story and books themselves. Throughout the five issues it delves into what could have been a typical 90s all action and less story vibe, but is so much more. It takes its time to build its world while still leaving some mystery to Moe’s backstory yet you know so much by the time it’s over. The cast of characters are all multilayered with depth and history that you would think you have been reading about them for years. I love the pull no punches nature to not only the violence, but in dealing with the racism and abuse in a way that feels horrible and pure as it should.
If I had a complaint about the whole series it’s that we haven’t seen any more of this character to my knowledge since this series ended. If there is more out there I will hunt it down to fix my own shortcomings for sleeping on this series for too damn long. In addition to the five individual issues that you can still track down, I believe there is also a trade as well so get out there and do yourself the service to enter the world of Mosaic.