RED HANDED by Matt Kindt


The Fine Art of Strange Crimes
by ; illustrated by
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A graphic crime saga about a by-the-book detective and the deeply human criminals he systematically tracks down, told by way of Socratic dialogue and pulp homage.

Since Detective Gould began his career on the police force of Red Wheelbarrow 10 years ago, no murder in the city has gone unsolved. And yet the crime rate hasn’t declined. This disconnect is at the heart of Kindt’s (MIND MGMT, 2013, etc.) engrossing pop meditation on law, art, ownership, intent, identity, passion, technology and context. The chapters weave a haunting tapestry of human longing—a chair thief with Proustian motives, a lothario’s chameleonic jigsaw, the civic impact of a struggling writer’s grand-scale vision, a getaway driver running to something, smut-turned-art-turned-evidence—but as Gould slowly traces the threads, they form a noose. The book has a raw aesthetic, sometimes revealing the blue lines of art boards and the sketched framework undergirding the figures and sometimes presenting pages of blackened grids speckled only with the simple white word balloons of a two-person conversation turning over big questions. Combining this unrefined quality with Kindt’s playful nods to dime-store novels, Sunday funnies, and the diagrams and spyholes often seen in golden-age comic books elevates the work to the realm of pure ideas, where the individual characters seem less important but no less enjoyable. Even at their most elemental, the images and text (and lack of images or text) play off each other in percussive paneling, delivering hard-boiled punches to a satisfyingly noirish end.

Elegant scribbles from an electric mind.

Pub Date: May 7th, 2013
ISBN: 978-1-59643-662-6
Page count: 274pp
Publisher: First Second
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15th, 2013


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