Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Creep #2

Written by John Arcudi
Art by Jonathan Case

On the surface, this comic seems pretty strange.  It's about a private investigator with a growth disorder that causes him to suffer all sorts of physical problems, who is investigating the suicide of a former girlfriend's teenage son.  It's not your typical noir plot, but John Arcudi and Jonathan Case are doing some very cool things with it.

The investigator, Oxel, is a very interesting character.  He's terrified of seeing his client because she knew him before his disease set in, and he's not comfortable with her seeing what he became.  Because of that, he's focusing too much of his time on the mother of the teenager's best friend, who also committed suicide a few months beforehand.

Arcudi gives us plenty of opportunities to see how other people respond to Oxel, from the tough guys who hang out on the street corner, to the average person he comes across in his investigations.  He is aware of how his looks ease his job, but he is reluctant to discuss them with anyone, as that causes the effect to disappear.

The grandfather of the dead boy is another interesting figure.  He's homeless, and very mentally ill, having suffered a break after the boy's death.  Jonathan Case does some cool things with him, drawing his fugue states in a completely different style, that looks a lot like Toby Cypress's (I was sure that's who had drawn the first page of this issue).

In this issue, Oxel moves closer to what he is looking for, but it's still not clear just what that is.  It's becoming increasingly obvious that the boys both killed themselves over something that happened with the grandfather.  My first inclination is to see this as a comic about abuse, as if it were written by Andrew Vachss, but I suspect that Arcudi has something more subtle in mind.

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