Gunning For Hits No. 2 review: Serendipitous events and rat traps


Gunning For Hits has what most comics lack: authenticity.

There’s nothing worse than viewing something forced. Whether it be music, acting, cinematography, even art, there’s something almost pitiful about watching a thing only “be” because it wants to be seen, instead of needing to exist. Thankfully, Gunning For Hits has that authenticity in spades. In the back-matter, writer Jeff Rougvie, a long-time music industry player, touches on how important it was for him and artist Moritat to have their story feel and look real, for it to come across as believable and honest. This author would argue that the story thus far has been an incredibly insightful look into how the music industry worked back in the ’80s, and the little bit of zazz that the creators injected into it (A&R guy packing heat, with a mysterious background), helped along by colorist, letterer, and designer Casey Silver, only spices up the story.

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The cut-throat corporate lifestyle oozes wonderfully in Gunning For Hits

Last issue, Mills signed “the next big thing” for six million dollars, after navigating some tricky requests from the band. This issue shows him waking up in his car, sleeping in the parking lot under the World Trade Center, because it’s closer to his office than his apartment. That’s a real-feel moment, there. Once he gets there, he runs into his personal accountant and cigar aficionado Melch, who tells an entertaining story about setting subway rat traps in his humidor to catch a Cohiba thief, and this story feels incredibly true, whether Gunning For Hits is fibbing or not. As he’s leaving, Melch casually lets Mills know that Brian Slade, Mills’ dream client, is looking for new representation, and he did some middle-manning to make it happen. This is a big deal for Mills, who heads to his boss’s office to finalize the six million dollar deal on their end, where he gets chewed out, but in an expected way. He then heads off to the Stunted Growth show that evening, where they will finalize the deal on their own end.

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Weaponized goons play their parts in Gunning For Hits

Mills is reveling in how well things are going at the show when he finds out Brian Slade is showing up, which is just the cherry on top. Slade’s security wants to check the place out before he heads inside, and it turns out the bodyguard, Mr. Goldstone, is an old acquaintance of Mills’, although not a friendly one. After hashing out some details where we learn that they both survived some military action in perhaps the Middle East, Slade heads in and watches Stunted Growth put on an amazing show. Melch and Mills head to the green room after the show and find Slade there, eyeballing Stunted Growth’s singer and guitarist. Slade wants to meet up with Mills soon to talk about signing with him, but Melch notices that Slade was staring at “the next big thing” a little too intensely, leading Mills to wonder if something bad is in the works.

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The issue ends there, with several pages of afterword concerning how important it is to the creators that this comic feel genuine. Undoubtedly, decades of experience in the industry lend a certain understanding of how things go down that your average “I’m gonna write a comic about  what the music industry seems like” writer would probably be lacking, so hat’s off to Rougvie for making this so engrossing and believable. Highly recommended, Gunning For Hits is a true blue slice of musical life that everyone should enjoy. Let us know what you thought in the comments section below.