cover image Black Dahlia

Black Dahlia

Rick Geary. NBM, $15.99 (80p) ISBN 978-1-68112-052-2

Geary’s made a career from his series of true crime graphic novels, all well-researched and sober, yet also capturing something of the eerie spark that attracts people to murder lore. Now he tackles a legendary unsolved case that hints at the underbelly of Hollywood, a topic he’s touched on before. Geary uses Elizabeth Short’s murder to exercise his major strength, weaving a complex narrative through the events of the era to create a whole picture of the world where the crime occurred. Short’s story is chronicled as a near-fable about the desperate grasp for the American dream of fame and fortune, and the way this dream can be overwhelmed by the tumult of other concerns that rampage through life. As usual, his black-and-white line art gives the stories a slightly retro, though never nostalgic, feel, with a tinge of weirdness to the chronicle of transgressions that reveal higher truths in their gruesomeness. (Nov.)