You must login to vote
Murder Mysteries, by Neil Gaiman and P.Craig Russell
Summer blockbusters are upon us, and people are continually and seemingly obsessed with death, destruction and mayhem...these brutalities take place in all manners and realms from train stations (Pelham 123) to futuristic robots (Transformers 2), but how many people consider how death began in the first place? Not many, but I can tell you for certain Neil Gaiman is one of them.
Imagine, if you will, the creation of the universe as told in the Bible. Or rather, the behind-the-scenes work that goes into it. While reading Gaimans vision of the first six days, we pass through a millennia of trial and error, as one angel after another is assigned a particular task. (Like any good bureaucracy, God himself doesn’t actually do anything, he simply says “there shall be light”, and a team of angels get to work on making light a reality.)
So what happens when one of Gods’ workers gets murdered in cold blood? Raguel, Angel of Vengeance is called upon for his first task, to discover who murdered the Angel Carasel, whose current assignment was the creation of death itself. So was it murder? Or suicide as he learned what death was? Lucifer himself explores the dark outer edges of the city as he weeps for his lost friend, and Raguel scours the city for answers.
Oh, did I mention the whole story was told in a series of backflashes, told through an old man telling the story on a park bench? The story is an intriguing concept which has twisted around some of my own ideas about creation and destruction.
The story was written by Gaiman years ago, and adapted to graphic novel with art by P. Craig Russell (whom you may recognize from April's Dark Horse Book of Hauntings review). The coloring was done by Lovern Kindzierski. I liked the art style with its smooth subtle pastel shades of all the main colors. While every panel is filled, the coloring is so smoothly blended in that it never seems overwhelming.
There are some graphic points to the story, so I would give it a PG-13 rating (no real bad graphics, but a few sexual references and a swear or two.) But for $11 new, and $4 used on Amazon, it’s a good read.
Link to Amazon's Page
BTW, it is ranked # 197,902 on Amazons book list.
and since I am no author and can do certain scenes no justice at all, I leave you with a single panel from the book that will resonate with me forever...
(ps, if you scrolled down this far, you must really like this page!
Check out my lit.org blog!