I am glad to be telling you about Violent Cases. Neil Gaiman is my favorite author, and Dave McKean is now one of my favorite artists. When I was reading the introduction written by Neil from the 1991 reissue, I happened to discover that he had started as a journalist, telling people about the better comics at that time.
“I wrote articles for British magazines and newspapers, doing my best to tell the world about Maus, Watchmen, Love & Rockets, Elektra: Assassin. The Good Stuff that was out there.”
I hope one day I am as successful as he is.
Violent Cases is a work of art. It was Neil and Dave’s first comic, and it showcases what a wonderful talent for the art that they already had. It brings together Neil’s fabulous way with words and Dave’s vivid portrayal of those words in a way that I am left feeling is nothing short of artistic genius.
Touching on a subject we don’t see much in comics, the two men paint a “pretty” picture about the loss of memory with age along with an understanding of violence. This is the narrator’s tale of his meetings with a man who claimed to be Al Capone’s osteopath. It then intertwines the child’s own experience with violence growing up with that of the osteopath’s stories of Mr. Capone and his dealings in that world.
Dave’s illustrations would be beautiful as stand-alone art pieces, although I wouldn’t want the violent ones on my wall. His drawings are mixed with old photos, maps, pieces of fabric, and other objects, beautifully collaged together.
These two fantastic men have created something wonderful for the comic world. It’s no wonder it keeps getting reprinted. I hope you’ll read it and enjoy it as I did. You can order the hardcover reissue here from Dark Horse.