Read Elk's Run by Joshua Hale Fialkov Noel Tuazon Online


Featuring more than 100 pages of never-before-seen material!The Harvey Award—nominated sensation that rocked the comics world–and left readers hanging in sheer suspense–is now a full-length graphic novel that finally carries the stunning Elk’s Run saga to its shocking conclusion.The town of Elk’s Ridge, West Virginia, was built on a dream: The dream of war-scarred VietnamFeaturing more than 100 pages of never-before-seen material!The Harvey Award—nominated sensation that rocked the comics world–and left readers hanging in sheer suspense–is now a full-length graphic novel that finally carries the stunning Elk’s Run saga to its shocking conclusion.The town of Elk’s Ridge, West Virginia, was built on a dream: The dream of war-scarred Vietnam veterans to live in peace and harmony, in a place untouched by violence, crime, corruption, or greed. A living Norman Rockwell painting, governed by the most basic values and free of all things considered undesirable by its founders. It was supposed to be paradise. And for a while, it was.Over the years, some in Elk’s Ridge have grown restless. They fear their refuge has become a prison . . . or a tomb. And they yearn to do the forbidden: escape. But when one desperate bid for freedom ends in a tragic accident, a heinous act of mob justice suddenly tears the idyllic mask from this promised land and the evil its residents sought to keep out blooms from within. Now, as a deadly chain reaction of events threatens the future of Elk’s Ridge, its elders gird for battle against the real world. And a group of terrified teens prepare to make their own stand–against the people they once trusted and the only life they’ve ever known. Because there’s nothing left to do but fight or die.A chillingly lyrical tale, rendered in starkly beautiful, visceral artwork, Elk’s Run is an unforgettable and unrelentingly powerful graphic novel event not to be missed.With an introduction by Charlie Houston, author of Already Dead...

Title : Elk's Run
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780345495112
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 224 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Elk's Run Reviews

  • David Schaafsma
    2019-02-25 21:33

    Ach! Who was it recommended this crazy book to me?! More anxiety for anxious times, or an antidote?The town of Elk’s Ridge, West Virginia is a kind of survivalist utopian dream of a community created by some damaged Vietnam veterans. Well, that doesn’t last long, in this rendering. They are getting paranoid, preparing for some coming war. Some want to get out. Things go badly very quickly. Teens seem to be the only sane people, so suddenly this is a tale about growing up in the face of insanity, but it is brutal and out of control and it is not clear what the point of all the paranoid violence is all about. But at times it felt relevant to today, I suppose. The artwork is sometimes confusing. But I guess it might be a tale about the legacy of violence (Vietnam, any war, any violent trauma).

  • Jason
    2019-03-08 19:51

    This book had a bit of a tumultuous history. We first started working on it late 2004, I believe. Josh Fialkov writing, Noel Tuazon illustrating, Scott Keating coloring, Jason Hanley lettering, and Datsun Tran on covers (and I was editing, of course). We self-published three issues and they were well received. Entertainment Weekly, Variety, Ain't It Cool News...but non-one was buying. We moved over to Speakeasy and they recollected the first three issues and published issue four before going bankrupt. With four issues left to go, Villard Books came along and published this trade paperback featuring the complete story, what would have been eight single issues.The resulting book is the product of three years of work. It's the story of the small town of Elk's Ridge, cutoff from the rest of the world, where the parents and kids are going to war with each other. It's a little bit of thriller, little bit of romance, and a whole lot of coming-of-age in a militia town.

  • Jason Pettus
    2019-03-22 16:28

    (Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography []. I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted here illegally.)Being the middle-aged creative-class Generation X slacker little sh-t that I am, I of course am a believer in the idea of graphic novels being a legitimate form of adult literature when at its best. But there's a wrinkle in this proposition as well, the same one the novel format faced in the late 1800s when it too first started getting taken seriously as a legitimate art form, which is that the medium as a whole just isn't quite there yet; because no matter how many Pulitzers they hand out to Art Spiegelman, the fact is that the majority of work being done in comics these days will still only appeal to overcaffeinated 14-year-old boys, just like 95 percent of all novels being published at the end of the Victorian Age were still fluffy action tales and overwrought love stories, despite the emergence by then of such early masters as Nathaniel Hawthorne, Gustave Flaubert, Henry James and others. And that makes critiques of new graphic novels problematic, in that the majority of people reading them are the exact violence-obsessed 14-year-old boys they were designed for (or the middle-aged videogame-playing slacker sh-ts these boys grow up to be), making their praise untrustworthy to those of us who demand that artists be at the absolute top of their form, in order to count us as their fans.Take for example Joshua Hale Fialkov's Elk's Run, one of those fabled comics that picked up a bigger and bigger following as more and more crappy things kept happening to it, first being self-published until Fialkov ran out of money, then picked up by a small press that a few years later promptly went bankrupt, and still without the entirety of the series' run actually having been published yet. The entire thing was finally put out in book form by Random House in 2007 (or technically Villard Books, an imprint of Random House), and I had heard nothing but good things about it, which was the whole reason I picked it up in the first place; but now that I've read it myself, I've discovered that it is only slightly above mediocre as a general piece of literature, with the comics crowd going so crazy for it mostly because of its mere difference from the usual Wolverine superhero piece of crap that mostly still defines the medium. And that unto itself is not so terribly bad, for reasons I'll get into in a bit, but I have to admit that I detest it when a grown-up publishing company markets such a book as a grown-up title for grown-up audiences, because it does the entire medium a disservice; it's the exact kind of book that a non-fan of comics will pick up precisely for its effusive praise and mainstream connection, then promptly decide that comics people don't know what the hell they're talking about, and that there can't possibly be anything good about graphic novels if this is an example of its shining best.Because to be clear, this series starts out with a really intriguing premise, which is what got it so much attention to begin with: it's the story of a group of Vietnam vets with undiagnosed post-traumatic stress disorder, who get back to the US in the early '70s and decide that they're sick of the liberal-caused moral decay that led to both Vietnam and the counterculture to begin with. That then leads one of them to purchase with inheritance money an entire abandoned mining town in West Virginia called Elk's Run, built literally into the carved side of a mountain and accessible only through a single tunnel, left to ruin when the mine itself went dry in the '60s. It's there that the soldiers and their families create a right-wing utopia closed off from the rest of society, a place with neither liquor nor police nor processed food, a black-and-white refuge in a shades-of-gray world; and thus does the group live relatively trouble-free for around 25 years (if not in a highly spartan and undeniably patriarchal manner). The story in the book itself then opens right around September 11th or so, when one of the abused wives finally gets all uppity and decides to leave, starting a chain of events that eventually leads to a bloody generational civil war between the parents and their liberal teenaged kids.Yeah, not a bad premise at all, and a concept that instantly makes me want to read more; but unfortunately Fialkov and his creative team (artists Noel Tuazon and Datsun Tran, colorist Scott Keating, letterer Jason Hanley) do almost nothing with this premise in the actual story itself, using it essentially as an excuse to create 216 pages of really kick-ass-looking explosions and gunshot wounds and burning houses and sassy teens screaming 'f-ck' a laughably insane number of times. And damnit, I sighed to myself while making my way through it, this is always where subpar graphic novels go wrong, each and every time I end up being disappointed by one; all of them start out with these really intriguing ideas, then get so obsessed with drawing cool gory scenes of violence that they forget to actually do anything with that intriguing idea. And like I said, unto itself this is not such a terribly bad thing -- there's a reason, after all, that the word 'graphic' makes up half of the term 'graphic novel' -- but it also relegates such projects firmly to the cultural ghetto of 'comic books,' and makes their appeal virtually non-existent to anyone besides the Comic Book Guys of the world. And this is to say nothing of the more nagging problems with this story just from a plotting standpoint, not the least of which is the loose and fast way that Fialkov plays with the time period being discussed; because even though it's technically possible for a bunch of Vietnam vets to all have teenaged children in the early 2000s, one has to really stretch the limits of believability to make such a timeline work out logically. (And by the way, existing comics enthusiasts, also please be aware that this title is drawn in that sketchy, minimalist way that is so controversial among the fan community, which will be yet another small strike against it among some.)Now, all that said, this is a fine read for smart teens who are emotionally ready for their first adult material, and I don't mean that as snotty faint praise whatsoever; because as Michel Houellebecq so astutely reminded us several years ago in his astounding book-length essay HP Lovecraft: Against the World, Against Life, such projects are absolutely necessary in order for an intelligent society to thrive, and are the very projects that turn gullible children into subversive adults in the first place (you know, much like the role Stephen King played in the '80s among so many people my age). No, as mentioned before, my issue in these situations is never with the books themselves; it's with the greedy, lazy marketing assh-les at places like Random House, who figure they can move a few more books by advertising every graphic novel in their catalog as the next Watchmen. And this is harmful to nearly every person involved in the process besides the actual marketing assh-les, from the audience members filled with falsely high expectations to the artists who bear the brunt of that audience's disappointment, to the critics like me who are constantly arguing that there are adult-worthy projects to be found in the world of comics, no seriously there are.So when all is said and done, I guess today I have mixed feelings about Elk's Run, ultimately recommending it to both teens and existing comics fans but not to anyone else. And here's hoping that with the next project Fialkov takes on, he actually does something with the admittedly smart concepts he's obviously capable of coming up with, and doesn't just use them as an excuse for 200 pages of BOOM and KABLOOEY and F-CK F-CK F-CK F-CK F-CK F-CK F-CK. Not only will his fans be better off, but the entire comics world in general.Out of 10: 6.1, or 8.1 for teens and comics fans

  • Matt Garcia
    2019-02-25 22:45

    Average graphic novel about a small town that takes itself very seriously and is full of survivalists and paranoid individuals. I didn't really care for the artwork and while the book wasn't bad, it was nothing special either.

  • Marsha Altman
    2019-03-15 23:38

    A gem of a find. An independent, self-contained horror comic about a small community. The art is great, the writing is great, and I don't have to know 20 years of backstory to read the thing.

  • Jeremy
    2019-03-15 15:53

    Story saves the day here, as a thrilling immediacy kept me from putting the book down, even as I endured the occasional squinty pause necessary to piece together action sequences rendered near-incomprehensible by the artists' smudgy panels. Having given it some thought, I'm inclined to chalk this up to a stylistic decision as opposed to a lack of skill, as childhood flashbacks are, by effective contrast, presented in a clear, cartoonish fashion. I found that I never quite adjusted to the artwork, which in hindsight only added to the overall (and quite potent) cloud of dread and confusion that envelops these characters and their terrible town. This thing doesn't stop once it gets going, and I'm surprised any of the pages in the last two chapters remained intact, so intent was I on casting the fully-read ones aside to propel myself to the next grisly turn of events. It may be a bit rough around the edges, but I doubt it would have worked any other way. A quick, scary read, and if a good director wisely makes a movie out of it, I'll be first in line.

  • Matt Piechocinski
    2019-03-08 20:46

    Coming of age story in a militia type town ... it was okay, but I'd be lying if I weren't hoping for something a little more sinister.

  • 47Time
    2019-03-17 20:43

    The community intentionally isolated itself from the rest of the country. Nobody left or was allowed in, no television, no police and only one truck was used to bring in necessities. The idea was to be sheltered from the bad things in the world - a utopia that, sadly, couldn't last. The adhoc leader understands the risk from the outside world and is determined to keep the town under control even if it means killing the people standing in his way. Unfortunately, he ends up alone when the town is thrown deeper into chaos.A foolish kid's joke ends up with one boy dead from being hit by a car. The locals decide to enact a 'fitting' punishment to the man responsible, by running him over too. Two policemen also end up killed when they investigate the town and risk finding the weapons that were transported by the truck. The events grow more and more difficult to control as the community tries desperately to return to their lives. The remnants of their humanity win in the end and they leave the town behind as it's purged in flames.(view spoiler)[The kids band together to try to escape, but the electrified fence stops them. They are found by kill two armed men who were checking on the fence. One of the kids gets shot in the stomach and they hide in the mine. The truck driver, a man who is in on the town's setup, but he himself lives outside of town, is forced to stay because of being a witness to the murders. He tries to contact the outside and is interrupted by one of the kids. The driver gives them his backup radio to contact the outside for help, but a radio inside the town captures the broadcast too, alerting the grown ups where the kids are located. When the grown ups reach the kids a firefight breaks out and a stray bullet ignites napalm that was intended to be used in bombings. This triggers the explosion of a gas main and a cave in.During this time several townspeople were leaving the town. They are in the mine when the explosion is triggered. Ultimately they leave the town as it's swallowed by flames. The now ex-leader is the only one left behind. (hide spoiler)]

  • Kristen
    2019-03-12 18:42

    Elk's Run by Joshua Hale Fialkov was a very dark and gritty talk about a small town called Elk's Run. The inhabitants of the town are all Vietnam War veterans and their families, who wanted to escape the horrors of the war and start over. The story's follows the main character John, and his friends as they try to figure out a way to leave Elk's Run after a series of deaths occur at the hands of some of the town's people. Readers soon discover that even though this story takes place in the United States, it doesn't seem much different from wartime in Vietnam. Most of the colors used in this graphic novel are very dark, except for when there are flashbacks to some of the characters childhoods. I would not recommend this book to anyone under the age of 15. There is a lot of mature language used and some of the images are very graphic. Elk's Run was nominated for the 2006 Harvey Award in the categories of Best Writer, Best Artist, Best Letterer, Best Cover Artist, Best New Talent, Best Continuing or Limited Series, and Best Single Issue or Story (for issue #3).

  • Harry Brake
    2019-03-03 21:42

    Gritty, dark, tumultuous, paranoia, these are several of the review vocabulary I saw in reviews of Joshua Hale Fialkov's novel, and how I felt after finishing this graphic novel. I thought the illustrations were amazing, matched the theme of the controversial topics represented here, that are carry-overs from the past wars, reactions to troops coming back home from Vietnam, and so much more. While I go into many graphic novels with the knowledge there will be dark topics, subjects, and material represented - this novel has won many awards and I definitely can see that. However, in this time and day, this was too much of a downer in attitude after finishing to celebrate the elements that make it a meticulously done graphic novel, which it is. The brooding emotions that come out from the topics addressed stuck with me and weighed me down long after reading this novel (which might be a testament to the reality - ness of this happening in a tumultuous world today).

  • JuanitoLibritos
    2019-03-20 17:37

    A medio camino entre "El bosque" de Shyamalan y cualquier película de aventuras de los ochenta en la que un grupo de preadolescentes se enfrenta a un misterio y se convierten en adultos durante el proceso. Como idea es muy original, pero explora demasiado poco a los personajes, usando las páginas más que nada para los sucesos. El dibujo se usa de forma muy inteligente para marcar las distintas líneas temporadas. Como mejor funciona es como alegato sobre las secuelas psicológicas de la guerra entre la soldadesca.

  • Charlotte Northeast
    2019-03-17 23:38

    Interesting take on PTSD and paranoia in a post war environment but I got lost on some of the through lines.

  • D.
    2019-03-21 18:31

    An interesting graphic novel that explores how far people will go to preserve their "perfect community." A strong script is marred a bit at times by art that makes many of the characters look too much alike. Still, there are some strong moments here, and it raises some good questions about our contemporary society and what we are willing to do to preserve our quality of life.

  • Sarah Beaudoin
    2019-03-17 20:34

    Elk Run is a glimpse into a cult-like village built by Vietnam War vets (and paid for by one who is both sympathetic and wealthy) designed to provide a supportive environment for the vets and their families while allowing them to remove themselves from a society of which they disapprove. Residents sign an agreement to abide by the rules and then are free to raise their families and work only if they choose. The story centers on the son of the town's "leader" (it's not clear if he's elected or self appointed or something else) who is a teenager frustrated with the confined life he leads. The story begins to hint at darker things to come when a supply truck arrives full of weapons and ammunition. It is never clear exactly why these are needed and most of the townspeople seem to be as much in the dark on the reasoning as the reader. As efforts to maintain the town's secrecy become more frantic, police officers are murdered, the hapless supply truck driver is captured, and the town's teenagers attempt to escape. I found the story as a whole to be disconcerting and believable. The "survive at all costs" mentality of the town is not surprising in this day and age. Some of the exchanges between the townspeople were a little heavy handed and exaggerated but Fialkov manages to keep the pace fast and these moments pass quickly.I thought this was enjoyable on the whole and worth the time to read.

  • Matthew
    2019-03-15 23:46

    "Elk's Run" is a graphic novel about a group Vietnam veterans. Disillusioned from the war and want to be freed from any sort of war-like sentiments, they all isolate themselves and move to a fenced-in town/community. This was to a perfect and peaceful place. There were rules by which all residents had to abide, one of those rules being that no one could leave the community, except for the man in charge of bringing in supplies/food. However, one day someone tries to escape the community, resulting in a tragic event and sparks chaos throughout the whole community.I do not have much experience with graphic novels, as I've only read a couple. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel though! It was very quick paced and entertaining. I would anticipate to take a break after each chapter, but by the end of the chapters, I would be so curious as to what was going to happen next that I had to continue reading. The plot was very interesting, too--very ironic, attempting to create a peaceful society, then eventually murdering in the name of maintaining peace. It really explored ideas of human nature, and whether or not humans are innately good or evil, or if those characteristics are too subjective to definitively say. The illustrations were also great and complimented the text very well.

  • Dracolibris
    2019-02-25 16:38

    Appearing on the ALA / YALSA Best Graphic Novles for Teens list, I purchased this for my teen collection. I had no idea how dark it would be, but that is ok. It is the story of teens who have grown up in a survivalist community and who, due to a dramatic and shockingly violent event, begin to see their parents, their town and their "mission" with new eyes. This makes them question everything they have been taught to believe, and sets them on a path leading to dire consequences for everyone involved. I enjoyed the story, but the art work did nothing for me. It was too sketchy, and not refined enough for my personal taste. And there are two pages that are really preventing me from recommending this GN enthusiastically to young adults because they show a crudely drawn centerfold from a girly magazine. Now, I know I shouldn't care and should uphold the freedom of YA's to check out any and all materials they want, but I have recently been dealing with a few parental complaints about the panty-shots/fan service in the Negima series, so I am just trying to figure out how to explain full frontal nudity, no matter how cartoonish it may be.

  • °~Amy~°
    2019-03-08 17:46

    Finally obtained a physical copy of Elk's Run, the original 2007 edition, not the extended version. Very disappointed that I couldn't read the extended e-book version because the writing was so ridiculously tiny. What is the point of making a graphic novel into an e-book if no one can read it? On a positive note, I enjoyed the story. Growing up in a Vietnam Veteran rich area I can easily imagine a community like this popping up and having the issues Elk's Run had. On the negative side, the rough graphics in both the e-book and the hard copy were a bit much. I think the intensity of the story could have been implied even with slightly less out of focus graphics. It was very hard to tell who was who and what was actually happening in many of the frames. Originally I was going to go back to the e-book and try to struggle through the extra 100 pages but I have changed my mind on that. It doesn't feel worth the incredible effort it would take to read that tiny text and to try to cipher out what the graphics are trying to portray. I will wait to get an updated hard copy.

  • Paul
    2019-03-21 21:35

    I wanted to like this book more than I did. A lot of love and craft went into this graphic-novel thriller, which took years and several publishers to complete, but in the end, it's just not a satisfying read. The protagonist is all too heroic, and his struggle against his father is undermined by his father's almost unbelievable villainy. Aside from that pair, the supporting characters aren't very well developed and are almost indistinguishable. The plot itself, concerning an extremely isolated community in West Virginia is your usual "beware utopia" plot, but after effectively setting up the scene, the plot twists get more and more extreme and unbelievable. One saving grace is the evocative, scratchy artwork by Noel Tuazon, who I'd love to see more from.

  • Chip
    2019-03-16 17:52

    This story is very similar to a true incident where a town was found to be rigged with explosives in order to cut it off from the rest of the world. In that case the explosives were defused and nothing happened. This seems to be a what-if-it-went-the-other-way tale. I liked the plot - if I had to criticize anything it would be that too much is condensed down into too little space. Almost every page reveals a new back story that isn't ever fleshed out. There's enough material to make two or three novels. I find myself wanting to rewrite the plot to explore these suggestions of possibilities... A screenplay is mentioned. Perhaps M. Night Shyamalan could be procured to direct, seeing he's already done something similar in The Village.

  • Jenni Noordhoek
    2019-03-06 18:45

    Parental warning: this book is full of f-words and includes a full-page panel of a p*rn mag that some kids are reading. Most of what I liked about this book was the artistic style and the general plot. I think that it could've gone a little bit deeper beyond 'we're stuck here and we want out now that we know what's happening'. I question though, the age of the characters... at some point they said that they were 12? But they look about 16 and swear like it. =P Just didn't really click for me.

  • Shira
    2019-03-13 17:54

    This is the heartbreaking story of a utopian community gone wrong. The bleak tone breaks through the brilliant colors used to beautify illustrate this book. The sense of unease permeates the story from the first page. It does not take long for this fast-paced story to ramp up the reader’s adrenaline. Author Joshua Hale Fialkov asks reader’s two questions in the forward of the book, what do you believe in and how far are you willing to go in service of those beliefs? If these are questions you are willing to delve into, then this book is for you.

  • Alex (TheLibraryOfAlex)
    2019-03-22 22:55

    This was the first graphic novel that I ever read! And it was actually pretty good. I absolutely love the artwork, I thought it was just beautiful. The story was quite an odd one, and the setting being in an isolated almost cult-like town is a very strange one but a fascinating one. You can defiantly tell it is unfinished, as it just ends left to your own opinion on the ending. Overall I quite liked this novel, would recommend to anyone who is interested and/or intrigued.

  • Molly
    2019-03-19 17:51

    Huh. Picked this up not realizing that I read it back in 2010. I didn't remember it, but am glad I had this chance to read the Tenth Anniversary Edition -- if you enjoy stories about survivalists, this is right up your alley. It's nothing new or earth-shattering as far as the plot goes, but it is a nice coming-of-age story and all the characters (save for the antagonists) are very easy to connect with.

  • Joe
    2019-03-25 16:53

    Another day, another coming of age graphic novel. If people didn't come of age, the graphic novel business would not exist. This industry really needs to discover a way to make books that don't contain 1) coming of age stories, 2) superheroes, and / or 3) porn. Elk's Run is your classic Angry Father Angry Son coming of age story and it really offers nothing new. The art style is a mess, but it's definitely distinctive and professional.

  • Steve
    2019-03-11 23:40

    A group of people, all bound together by their fear of the changes in the world, isolate themselves and try to set up a perfect society. As their utopia comes crashing down on them, we can see in the world that Fialkov and his artistic collaborators have created a mirror to our modern-day circumstances, so that the book works as an adventure and as social commentary.

  • Nfnt-robin
    2019-02-23 15:54

    I liked this one -- unsettling and very well told. It's one of those books that's not really surprising to me (having read many of the novels involving an isolated town secretly founded to block unsavory influences from the populace and their children, etc.) but is still surprising to teens who've never read/seen that plot before.

  • Trevor
    2019-03-20 23:50

    This story of small-town dystopia is driven by its characters - those of the old guard and the youth demanding answers and escape - to a conclusion that will have readers begging for air and a cold glass of water (or something stronger). If you’re from a small town…and hated it…you may just identify with that feeling of extreme imprisonment. It's fantastic!

  • Ed
    2019-03-25 20:50

    Good story, well-told. The setting, a West Virginia town literally fenced away from the world, fits the archetype of so many stories I love...namely a remote place, whether it be an island or a college campus over the holidays. But I digress. Full of graphic violence, suspense, friendship. Ch-ch-ch-check it out, boyyyyyy!

  • Fred
    2019-03-26 23:42

    The initial premise hooked me, but parts of the story seemed familiar. Maybe it was the conflict with the father, or maybe it was the idea of a separated society preparing for a holocaust. The similarly themed Sheltered, by Ed Brisson was much more powerful.

  • Jack
    2019-03-14 23:36

    Who hasn't been alienated by their mentally unhinged vet father who leads a survivalist community? I found the story a little over-the-top for my taste, but the graphics are great and the story overall is well constructed and suspenseful.