Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Black Dahlia

This book is based on the titular Black Dahlia murder that has captivated people's attentions for decades. Young actress Eizabeth Short's body was found in a neighborhood yard California in 1947, cut neatly in half, mutilated, and drained of its blood. Who committed this horrific crime and for what reason are both unsolved mysteries shrouded in time, and this well-researched book details what is known and many of the proposed explanations.
As you can see in the excerpt, this book is superbly crafted, with historical details, police reports, maps, and numerous other sources used to replicate the context of the murder and its investigation in intricate ways. And I have to say, even though the subject matter could easily become prurient or sensationalist, the narrative here is more documentary and the artwork not sterile but not overly graphic either. In sum, this book is a strong piece of nonfiction I could see being read by upper middle or high school students and adults. I have a good number of the murder books in this series, and this one stands among the best entries.

I am a huge fan of Rick Geary's work. He has been making comics for decades now, winning major awards for his efforts, and telling all kinds of historical tales in graphic novel formats (just check out these reviews and see what I have written about them over the years).

All of the reviews I have read about this book have been positive. Andrew A. Smith called it "another page-turning whodunnit from one of America’s finest and most unique writer/artists." Derek and Andy from the Comics Alternative agreed it was "one of the most enjoyable reads of the bunch." Judith Reveal seems pretty new to graphic novels and what they can do, and she praised the book in her review.

Black Dahlia was published by NBM, and they have a preview and more available here.

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