Mike Cavallero a.k.a. Johnny X - 66 Thousand Miles Per Hour [comic book] (Cover Artwork)

Mike Cavallero a.k.a. Johnny X

Mike Cavallero a.k.a. Johnny X: 66 Thousand Miles Per Hour [comic book]66 Thousand Miles Per Hour [comic book] (2004)
Chunksaah Records

Reviewer Rating: 4

Contributed by: RonenKauffmanRonen Kauffman
(others by this writer | submit your own)

The long-standing relationship between punk rock and comic books is nothing new ?? plenty of common cultural elements are shared by these two forms of cultural expression. And as two genres once almost exclusively the domain of nerds, both comics and punk rock have undeniably fused themselves well into the forefront of what people think is cool. After all, where would we be without the new Punisher movie, or Sum 41? Given the environment, a comic book like 66 Thousand Miles Per Hour seems right on time.

The book itself is stylized while remaining accessible, involving alien intelligences, super powers, and over-the-top characters suited perfectly to their comic book world. The reader follows Evie Price as she tries to navigate her high-school existence. When weird stuff starts to happen in Evie's boring New Jersey town, her life goes from un-inspired to unpredictable almost at once.

Although the prequel issue (#0) popped with spot-on coloring, the book's black and white presentation is one of a number of elements that contribute to a certain no-bullshit feel ?? one that makes 66kMPH move very naturally. Writer and artist Michael Cavallero has a talent for focusing on the things that make good comics happen ?? interesting characters and plots, motion, and more than anything else, expression. The result is solid, effective storytelling. It's a strong showing for Cavallero's first real project.

Themes found in 66kMPH ?? like alienation, separation, and overall social disconnectedness - echo the music with which Cavallaro has been involved for years. Also known as Johnny X, he played in Sticks and Stones, Zero Zero, and Johnny X and the Conspiracy. Over time, he's become something of a punk folk hero, emerging as a recurring character in the ever-evolving universe of The Bouncing Souls (which itself often seems to have a comic-book-like continuity); he's not only designed some of the Souls' most recognizable artwork, but has had songs and records named after him.(See: the "Johnny X" seven inch.)

If the first couple issues of 66kMPH are any indicator, Johnny X might one day wind up more famous for his comics than for his music. Like the music industry, the comics industry is flooded with an overabundance of unacceptably awful products, and so it can often be difficult to find the nuggets of real goodness amongst the sea of dreck. But Cavallero's resume demonstrates that he knows how to craft a project/product, and 66kMPH is the latest confirmation of his talent.

Beyond all the analysis, 66kMPH is a great read. It has a fantasy/adventure story line, but still retains a distinct earthiness; things can get cartoonish, but they're never corny. Certain plot devices hint at serious themes, but everything is blended in so evenly that nothing seems over-done; this helps to lend realness to an otherwise fantastical story. Overall, 66kMPH is refreshing and entertaining. And considering that it's Cavallero's first shot at producing a comic book, it's even more impressive.


People who liked this also liked:
Scarlet - Cult ClassicThe Scarlet Letter - How Is Your Heart?All Rattle And Dust - Stiletto, StilettoThe Ratchets - Heart Of TownVarious - Hellfest 2002 DVD

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Anonymous (July 21, 2004)

"but living vicarioulsy through a nerd who gets bit by a spider just doesn't do it for me...go out and live your life, and don't model it after a cartoon character"

Yeah because everyone that reads comics does that, right?


Jesse (July 20, 2004)

My brother took all his Transmetropolitan to Japan...or at least I think he did. Maybe he didn't. I should go check, and then read them all.

BSD (July 19, 2004)

"All I have to say about comics is that it's ALL about Watchmen and Alan Moore."

Definitely. He's the most talented comic writer ever.

If he and Jack Kirby could have collaborated... That would have been magic.

Anonymous (July 19, 2004)

i myself am a huge nerd, a even bigger souls fan, but comic books are fucking lame, i'm sorry, but living vicarioulsy through a nerd who gets bit by a spider just doesn't do it for me...go out and live your life, and don't model it after a cartoon character

TheMarc (July 19, 2004)

Since we're on the subject, you should all check out Joe Kelley's "Steampunk" with art by Chris Bachelo. It was on the Cliffhanger imprint and went for like 10 issues. Transmetropolitan is good too. Alan Moore's Top 10 is equally great, but Watchmen is indeed the greatest story of all time. Jesus, I'm a nerd.

Jesse (July 19, 2004)

All I have to say about comics is that it's ALL about Watchmen and Alan Moore. You just don't get better than that short run series. MAYBE The Dark Knight Returns, but the story line for Watchmen is just way too fucking clever.

Well, I guess Warren Ellis has got some good projects under his belt at this time as well, and the new X-Men is decently written...

Anonymous (July 19, 2004)

sticks and stones and johnny x and the conspiracy are both great. i don't know how this talent will translate into a comic series but i'll check and out and support him anyway.

Anonymous (July 18, 2004)

I think, if it's possible, Sandman was the comic book equivalent of Saddle Creek records, and I liked it. So maybe I'm an emo pussy.


TheMarc (July 18, 2004)

This score is for Grant Morisson and The Invisibles.

Anonymous (July 18, 2004)

sticks and stones truly was the greatest punk band of all time.

Anonymous (July 18, 2004)

Someone review Hellboy. He is punk rock.

Anonymous (July 17, 2004)

id like to say that johnny x is a musical genius. not so much sticks and stones(in my opinion) but i suggest you all check out the 7" from johnny x and the conspiracy, truly amazing

Anonymous (July 17, 2004)

Yeah, it ended on issue 300, as planned.

This isn't giving anything in the storyline away, but Dave Sim is fucking nuts. When you get the final issue, go straight to the back. FUCKING NUTS!!!

Anyway, if you're just getting into Cerebus, don't let the first book fool you. That was when he was a rip-off of Howard the Duck. Once you get into "Hight Society" and "Church and State Vol. 1", you'll have a better idea of what it's actually like.


Anonymous (July 17, 2004)

Go read Stray Bullets.


Anonymous (July 17, 2004)

"Am I the only one who was really let down by the finale of Cerebus?"

i just barely got into cerebus. dont ruin it. i only read the first collection, i hope to read more. so is cerebu finally done? or what?

- jones the bones

- stevejones8770@yahoo.com

- whoever posted this site first is cool. its funny.


Anonymous (July 17, 2004)

Yeah I remember when I got an issue of a 1944 Human Torch where he and the Sub-Mariner battled Nazis.

Punk fucking Rock.


Anonymous (July 17, 2004)

johnny x is more punk rock than most of the stuff getting passed off as "punk" of late.

i'll have to check this comic out.

Anonymous (July 17, 2004)

wow you're all a bunch of fuckin nerds. i cannot believe people are actually upset that a comic book (put out by a punk label, no less) got reviewed on this site. boring nitpicking fucking losers

i've never read the comic but i'm sure it's pretty good. johnny x doesn't fuck around.

maverick (July 17, 2004)

Written by a punk rocker.

Put out through a punk rock label.

We always post news on developments with nothingnice.com and MItch Clem's other projects; why would this be any different?


Anonymous (July 16, 2004)

Yes, but had the Clash written Kings of Comedy it would be alright, no? It was created by Johnny X of Sticks & Stones...He played in a very underappreciated punk band. This is punknews.org. So pretty much any news pertaining to punk is valid? This is it. This happens to be his art just like a record. So why not review it? Nowhere does it say only CD reviews allowed.

Anonymous (July 16, 2004)

But to be honest, reviewing comics on this site is like reviewing "the King of Comedy" just because the Clash make a surprise cameo, then claiming "from the beggining, punk rock and good movies have always held hands and kissed in the treehouse".

The art for this (the cover, at least) leaves much to be desired for.


Anonymous (July 16, 2004)

Am I the only one who was really let down by the finale of Cerebus?


FortyMinutesWest (July 16, 2004)

The ironing is delicious.

Anonymous (July 16, 2004)

"I love the irony."

You better love it.

Anonymous (July 16, 2004)

"Probably because you're an immature, cocksucking, 14-year old."

You're totally right, man. I wish I was mature enough to be calling people immature cocksuckers on the internet because they say something bad about comic books. I love the irony.

gladimnotemo (July 16, 2004)

"The long-standing relationship between punk rock and comic books is nothing new..."

What the hell? The only comic book/punk rock (if you can even say that) connection I've seen is Coheed and Cambria's D&D fantasy-prog-rock.

How is this reviewed, along with 8 bajillion live shows, and there is still no review of Only Crime? What is wrong in the world that needs to be right?

jacobe (July 16, 2004)

good review. this comic is well written and has a great story. I was hooked after 0,

Anonymous (July 16, 2004)

Score is for Mitch Clem being a douche by dropping off the face of the earth.

Anonymous (July 16, 2004)

"Uh.. that's nice.. I don't know about everyone else, but I come here for music reviews. Okay, comics can be cool, but I seriously do not get the relation."

Probably because you're an immature, cocksucking, 14-year old.

Anonymous (July 16, 2004)

was that a crack at the punisher movie? cause if it waaaaassssss......i will crack you

Anonymous (July 16, 2004)

Uh.. that's nice.. I don't know about everyone else, but I come here for music reviews. Okay, comics can be cool, but I seriously do not get the relation.

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