Thursday, August 6, 2009

From the Reading Pile: The Black Diamond Detective Agency

The Black Diamond Detective Agency
By Eddie Campbell (from the screenplay by C. Gaby Mitchell)

When a train explodes at the turn of the century, a devious plot is unearthed and the Black Diamond Detective Agency are the only people who can solve it.

Campbell hits everything perfect here. The story is a hybrid of a Western and a pulp noir. There are twists and turns, deceptions and mob wars. It is a thrilling and gripping read that will keep the reader at the edge of their seat.

As solid as the story is, it is Mr. Campbell’s art that is truly special here. He captures the feel of the time and the chaos of the explosion perfectly. His use of reds to underscore the mayhem without resorting to graphic depictions of the blood shed contained is restrained and genius. He leaves the more gruesome details to the reader. In fact, much of the action happens off the panel, allowing the reader to determine how a gun fight plays out, where a mark is hit, and what a mess must look like.

The painted style gives the book a kinetic flow that feeds in to the cinematographic feel of the piece. His thick chunky lines make it look animated and his detailed backgrounds give it more of a photo realistic feel. Buildings, trains, and other large objects fill up entire pages with great detail and lifelike recreations.

This is an exciting and worthwhile read with stunning graphics that should entertain anyone who likes the Western genre or is looking for a decent mystery yarn.

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