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CSBG Archive

A Year of Cool Comics – Day 214

Here is the latest in our year-long look at one cool comic (whether it be a self-contained work, an ongoing comic or a run on a long-running title that featured multiple creative teams on it over the years) a day (in no particular order whatsoever)! Here‘s the archive of the moments posted so far!

Today we look at the latest edition of Rick Geary’s brilliant Treasury of 20th Century Murder series of graphic novels, The Terrible Axe-Man of New Orleans!!!

Enjoy!

I couldn’t find a direct link to this book at NBM Publishing, but here‘s a link to their front page, where it is is featured prominently in the “Just Added” section (you can also always just search for Rick Geary once you get to NBM’s site).

Okay, so anyhow, Rick Geary does a series of books about famous murders. I’ve already featured two of them, and heck, I might feature another one before the Year of Cool Comics is finished.

This time around, the tale is about a mysterious “Axe-Man” in New Orleans in the 1910s who would pry open people’s doors and come in at night and, well, attack them with axes (he would use the victim’s own axe!!!).

Geary’s books are extremely predictable, in the sense that he follows the same exact writing pattern every time out, but the pattern is such an obvious one that it is hard to knock him for following it each time.

He establishes some local history of the place where the murders take place, like as seen below…

Then he gets into the murders, and he does an excellent job of precisely describing what happens and drawing all of the little details.

Here’s one murder…

His plainly stated way of delivering the facts allows you to pretty easily get swept into the frightening aspect of the story. Especially when he details those people who seem to have stopped the murderer as he was prying their doors open! Can you imagine that?!? Sitting there, knowing some dude trying to kill you is trying to enter your home?!? Spooooky.

Geary’s research is always spot-on, and I enjoy the way that he details all the various theories about who the Axe-Man really was.

His hand-lettering is also quite awesome.

These books are some of the most dependably awesome books out there (interestingly enough, NBM also publishes a similar series of books, Lewis Trondheim’s Little Nothings series – obviously the two are not similar in style, just the fact that they are each always dependably great each volume that gets released in the series).

Highly Recommended.

2 Comments

I must admit, this looks rather interesting. Gonna buy this.
Especially because it is based on real events and not fiction.
More especially, because these murders were never solved.

Some excerpt from the author which shows that the research produced some nice angles for the book:

“Part of this scene-setting involves a brief look at other notable criminals of the period, including men who jumped out of trees to scare women and another who clipped schoolgirls’ hair on crowded streetcars. “In my research, I came across descriptions of the various eccentric street criminals that operated in New Orleans concurrently with the Axe-Man,” Geary said. “These people were prankish and mostly harmless, but they give a colorful background to the city’s state of mind.”

Just read this the other night and was wowed and fascinated by it like I usually am with Geary’s “Murder” series. I realized in looking at the book’s jacket that I’m missing quite a few of the other volumes in the series and need to pick them up as oon as I can. They are all well worth the read.

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