by John Arcudi
Release date: May 7, 2013
A young boy puts a gun in his mouth and pulls the trigger. The police don’t care – not about his death or the death of his best friend two months earlier. The dead boy’s mom seeks help from an old flame that’s employed as a detective. What she doesn’t know is that he suffers from a physical deformity that manifests at midlife. Will the detective’s freakish appearance get in the way of uncovering the terrible secrets of these two teenagers? This collection features additional art by Frank Miller, Mike Mignola, Ryan Sook, and Tonci Zonjic.
Synopsis from Goodreads
Here I go again, reviewing yet another graphic novel. Yup. I’m a fan. And while I do like a lot of different comics, I am an especially huge Dark Horse fan! How can I not be?! The comics hold a certain dark mystery, and The Creep is no exception.
I have to start out with our protagonist, Oxel Karnh, as he is not your typical detective. (I apologize if I’m getting the last name wrong here. It isn’t used often in the story, and I only had a digital copy. The quality degrades when I try to zoom in and read it) I object a little to the synopsis describing him as having a “freakish appearance”. He suffers from acromegaly, which is an excess of growth hormone. There are many manifestations of the deformity, but in this case, Oxel is large, and his face and hands are a different proportion than most people would be used to. Hardly what I would call “freakish”, though Oxel’s self esteem has clearly been affected by the public’s treatment of him. Despite all of this, or maybe because of it, he has become a great detective.
The plot is obviously dark, as Oxel investigates a suicide, with no apparent motive. Oxel gets a letter from an ex-girlfriend, beside herself with grief at the loss of her son. She has nowhere else to turn, since the police don’t think it warrants investigation. Oxel, however, decides to help. While the dialogue, itself, is solid, the plot contains a few holes. On the plus side, I wasn’t aware of them at all while reading. I was completely drawn into the story, and it wasn’t until afterwards that I started to question how the story was built.
The artwork is where I truly felt pulled forward. Jonathan Case presents some fabulous work, but there are also the individual issue covers by guest artists. First off, Case’s work is pretty standard on the most part. What made it stand out were the past scenes, where the drawings felt more sketched. Here is where his true artistry was displayed. Although the lines were less defined, I felt like there was a clear emotion being conveyed.
For the graphic novel aficionado, this volume contains a series of artwork at the back. I only wish I had my hands on a hard copy, so that I could bask in their glory. As it was, I am thankful to Netgalley for providing me with the digital copy. Certainly better than having to wait until the release date in May!