A Treasury of Victorian Murder Compendium by Rick Geary

Graphic novelist Rick Geary had me with his title, “A Treasury of Victorian Murder Compendium” although I am not sure if political assassinations and serial killing can be considered a treasure. If that’s the definition, I’d rather have bankruptcy. But getting past that, Geary’s work is both compelling, disturbing and sad. It’s compelling with the amount of research he did as they are all true stories, with bibliography to boot. It’s disturbing and sad how some people feel other people’s souls are disposable.

The compendium includes “common” unsolved and solved mysteries set in the Victorian era. (By common, I mean it’s about ordinary people doing extraordinary killings or ending up as murder victims.) It also narrates the assassination of the 20th US president, James Garfield which came close after Abraham Lincoln’s own, so much so that the doctor who tended to Lincoln was there for Garfield.

It also introduces us to the world’s first “caught” serial killer as well as the world’s most elusive serial killer, Jack the Ripper.

“Victorian Murders” is one of those few graphic novel titles that make the industry proud with its superb story-telling without giving you a nosebleed with pretentious existentialism and philosophizing. It also proves that today’s comics is certainly no longer our great-grandfather’s comic books.

-Elizabeth

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