book review: goldfish

I completely thought Brian Michael Bendis’ Goldfish was a true crime book (like Torso). I was reading it all amazed at how cinematic this real-life escapade had turned out. And then I realized that similar covers don’t mean identical format. Selah.

So Goldfish is about a grifter who comes back to town after ten years with revenge on his mind. It’s nice and twisty and violent. I had a slight problem telling a couple of characters apart, design-wise but that was more than compensated for by the great panel design. No simple grids going on here, especially in the biggish action sequences. And there’s a huge conversation in the middle that pretty brilliantly deals with the Talking Head problem in comics by doing the conversation as straight prose dialogue with a couple of illustrations to keep us up on the visible emotions. I liked it a lot.

I bought this copy at a used bookstore here in Vancouver (I just moved here so I’m trying to scout out the good ones.) and at the counter the owner of the store was all “Why are these things so expensive?” I said something about drawing being a lot of work, and she said “But your time to dollar ratio as a reader here isn’t very good.” I don’t know why she was denigrating her product and prices but I compared the value to that of a movie and it mollified her somewhat. “I guess it’s better than spending it at Starbucks,” she said.

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