cover image Tumor


Joshua Hale Fialkov, . . Archaia, $14.95 (239pp) ISBN 978-1-932386-82-0

The first comic created for Amazon Kindle turns out to be more than just an experimental curiosity. When Frank Armstrong, an elderly failed PI, is hired to find a drug boss's daughter, he sees a chance to redeem himself for failing to prevent his own wife's murder decades ago. Unfortunately, Frank's inoperable brain tumor means that his senses betray him so that he doesn't always know what year he's living in or whether he's walking down the gritty L.A. streets or lying flat on his back in a hospital bed. He's obviously dying; the question is whether he can pull himself together long enough to win moral salvation. Fialkov's hard-boiled script shows Frank's desperate toughness, though it's somewhat unbelievable to discover that he's been walking around with a compound fracture of his left femur. Tuazon's crude-looking black and white art is also effective, switching from fine line and wash to scrappy brush work as Frank's consciousness fluctuates. There's nothing subtle about Tumor , but it's successful noir storytelling. (Feb.)