Head Games: The Graphic Novel

Craig McDonald and Kevin Singles. First Second, $19.99 trade paper (176p) ISBN 978-1-59643-414-1
McDonald’s Hector Lassiter crime novels mix 20th-century history and dime-novel fiction via the adventures of a pulp writer who, like a hard-boiled, chain-smoking Zelig, crosses paths with famous figures and historic events everywhere he goes. In this graphic adaptation of Lassiter’s debut, he brawls with Orson Welles on the set of Touch of Evil, crosses the Mexican border with a car trunk full of skulls (one of which belongs to Pancho Villa), ruminates on his ongoing feud with Ernest Hemingway, and gets on the wrong side of Senator Prescott Bush. This pulpy alternate history adds color to what is otherwise familiar noir territory, complete with seedy schemes, gunfights, and a narrow-eyed woman in trouble. The art, by newcomer Singles, has the right shadowy, rough-hewn look, but it could use a little spit and polish, especially in the sometimes awkward renderings of human figures and faces. It’s a breezy thriller designed to hit the sweet spot for crime fans and history buffs alike. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/11/2017
Release date: 10/24/2017
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