Tuesday, June 4, 2013

#CBR5 Review #26: The Creep by John Arcudi and Jonathan Case

Thus, with this 26th read, I finish my goal of a half-cannonball! And with half the year still to go; why didn’t I think I would make it, again? I guess I have been reading a lot of graphic novels and comic books, which don’t usually take a lot of time, and The Creep was no exception, as I breezed through the entire thing in one sitting. Partially because it is a relatively short graphic novel, and partially because I just really had to find out what happened. Suspense and curiosity is definitely the name of the game with this one, but it’s also a lot darker in what it entails than I thought it would.

What we have with The Creep is what appears to be a seemingly typical detective story, after two young boys kill each other just months after one another. The mother of one of the boys calls an old friend, Oxel, to private investigate, though she is unaware that Oxel has been suffering from a physical ailment known as acromegaly, which causes a general enlargement of many physical features, among other things. Because of this, the story not only touches the issue of young suicide, but also on visual deformities and the treatment of others with them.

Once Oxel really gets into the mystery, however, he finds that things may not be what they seem (which kind of goes without saying, I suppose). And when all is said and done, the true crack to the case comes with another human tragedy. In the end, this gritty detective story is less about devious humans skirting the law, and more about human suffering and guilt. Really, it’s a story that begs the question as to whether or not it’s better to not know things and remain oblivious, as the truth may obscure fond memories or create new pain that is worse than the numbness of being kept in the dark.

Overall, the plot of The Creep just clips along at a rapid pace, and while this makes it easy to read, the conclusion and reveal at the end almost seems rushed and didn’t really leave time for it all to set in. The story itself is surprising and very different, but I almost wish there was more of it, despite the fact that it is a bit hard to take at times. If nothing else, however, Jonathan Case’s artwork throughout is stunning, and only adds to the moods and thematic elements.

Would I recommend it? I’m not really sure, to be honest. While I enjoyed it, there was something that kept me from absolutely loving it, and if you want something light and not too serious, I would stay away from this one. But if you like detective stories and works regarding the all complexities of humanity, both good and bad, then by all means, I’d take a gander at The Creep.

[Be sure to check out more reviews on the Cannonball Read group blog]

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