Chasing Rabbits

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Tag: True Crime


Written by
: Brian Michael Bendis and Marc Andreyko
Art and Lettering by: Brian Michael Bendis
Published by: Image Comics

I first got to know about Torso when news of David Fincher planning to adapt it hit me a few years back. Finally got around to reading it. The story is about the ‘Torso Killer’ who was active between years of 1934 and 1938. He was called so because all he left of his victims were their torsos. Then Cleveland Safety Director, the infamous Elliot Ness was on his trail along with his team of two very competent detectives – Walter Myrlo and Sam Simon.

The case, to this date, remains unsolved.

Yet again, like the Green River Killer, the artwork is B/W. But while the Green River Killer’s artwork was bland (in a good way), very direct and simple, Torso’s is really trippy and it gets under your skin. What’s more interesting is, real B/W photographs of the crime scene and the investigation are often spliced into the artwork, lending an overall eerie effect. You get the feeling of ‘Whoa, I am THERE right now!’. The artwork coupled with the writing was so intense I felt like I was watching a movie. They just complemented each other so well! The characters are brilliantly written and it is ripe for a film adaptation.

Also, unlike the Green River Killer, Torso is strictly noir. The shadows are dense and dark. There’s a sinister quality to the entire look of the book.

Torso Killer is probably the creepiest serial murderer I have ever been aware of till date and it’s a pity he was never formally charged and convicted. Brilliant work by Brian Michael Bendis nevertheless.


Green River Killer: A True Detective Story


Written by : Jeff Jensen
Illustrated by: Jonathan Case
Published by: Dark Horse Comics

Green River Killer: A True Detective Story is a true crime graphic novel based on the infamous American serial murderer of the same name, who was highly prolific throughout the 80’s and 90’s. He was convicted of 48 murders but later confessed to having killed twice the number. All his victims were women, mostly prostitutes. The story follows the gruelling manhunt to capture Gary Ridgway, the killer, for over two decades.

The best thing about the book is how the story is told. The narrative leaps from one point to another between the time Gary first stabbed a young boy to “know what it felt like to kill someone” and the final day at the courthouse. Now, non-linear narrative in both cinema and books can often appear to be just a gimmick, but here it really works. The characters are believable, the violence is ‘measured; there is nothing that sticks out like a sore thumb. The artwork is not all that fancy. It’s black-and-white, very basic and grounded which adds to the documentary like realism of the book. All in all, a good one.


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