cover image Weegee: Serial Photographer

Weegee: Serial Photographer

Max de Radigués and Wauter Mannaert, trans. from the French by Aleshia Jensen. Conundrum, $18 trade paper (140p) ISBN 978-1-77262-023-8

This gritty graphic biography is an embodiment of its subject, as the documentary style tells the story of American independent photographer Arthur Fellig, better known as Weegee. He makes his living following a police scanner in order to track down and photograph the urban underbelly of Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Weegee’s photographs of people who are desperate, dying, or deceased strike a chord with the public, feeding his sales to newspapers. Despite this, however, Weegee won’t be happy until he’s respected by the people that really matter—whether it’s the posh folks uptown or the Hollywood crowd he longs to be a part of. What de Radigués and Mannaert so ably capture is not just the fervor with which Weegee pursues one tragedy after another with his lens, but the psychological mark that capturing the events leaves on him. Whether through wordless sequences of the landscape or one of Weegee’s nightmares in which he’s haunted by his subjects, the graphic narrative is a parallel to photojournalism, as it illuminates the darker nature of the city and its chronicler. De Radigués and Mannaert give justice to the famous photographer’s complicated legacy. (May)