Grotesque Anatomy
Thursday, May 06, 2004
  Gumshoe Reviews: Dodge's Bullets
Dodge's BulletsDODGE'S BULLETS (Image Comics • 80 B&W Pages • $9.95)  Writer Jay Faerber serves up a nice little slice of crime fiction involving a rough-around-the-edges private investigator who (in typical P.I. fashion) takes on a case that's more than he bargained for.  There are some really nice touches in this OGN that distinguish it from standard crime comics: 
Even when it comes to familiar trappings of the genre (the P.I. meeting the client in his office; the tense rivalry between the P.I. and the police force; etc.), Faerber keeps things fresh by approaching those elements from a new angle.  For example, Dodge's "office" is a cyber-cafe -- for reasons that actually make sense, not just to make the story seem hip and modern.  I especially liked the twist Faerber took on another fixture of the P.I. genre:  the beautiful woman who suddenly shows up at the P.I.'s place.

The art by James Francis is really quite pleasing.  There are times when figures look a bit off, but overall Francis' art is very strong.  When I first saw the sample artwork on Image's site, I was reminded of Jill Thompson's style.  While reading the whole story, I saw a number of other influences in Francis' work as well:  Guy Davis, John Buscema, David Mazzucchelli, David Lapham, even Gene Colan at times.  (More preview artwork from the book is available at James Francis' website.)

I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed this book.  If you're looking for a fun, modern take on the private investigator genre, I highly recommend Dodge's Bullets.
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