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Violent Cases Paperback – Jan 13 2004


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Paperback, Jan 13 2004
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Dark Horse Books (Jan. 13 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1569716064
  • ISBN-13: 978-1569716069
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 20.7 x 27.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 268 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #427,855 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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Format: Paperback
"I like to remember things my own way . . . as i remember them. not necessarily the way they happened." These lines from _Forgotten Highway_ evoke the feel of Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean's compelling and evocative _Violent Cases_.
Enter the dimly lit, vague world of a man (who looks amazingly like Gaiman himself) remembering incidents from his childhood: a world of odd dentists, stupid birthday parties, evil magicians, and violent cases (violin cases). Our hero (for all of Gaiman's children are heroes) goes through his coming of age, in a frightening yet curious way, by peeking behind the curtain, while Gaiman's words and McKean's art take us along for the ride, peeking behind the curtain of memory.
Gaiman readers will definitely see similarities in style between this story and _Mr. Punch_, which, in my mind, stands as a companion piece to this book. Memory and its tricks, traps, twists and turns serve as the vehicle for both, and it's the uncertain but unquestioning way that we go through the memories that make these books so brilliant.
We all have memories. And if we look at them very closely, we begin to realize how scary some of those memories can be. As Gaiman shows us time and time again, the world is a threatening one to children: too big, too confusing, where children are constantly lied to and hushed even in moments of brilliance. Yet somehow we made it. Let Gaiman and McKean remind you how.
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By "teeth_2" on Oct. 2 2001
Format: Paperback
As usual, Neil provides his fans with another must have item.
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Format: Paperback
The persistence of memory is a common theme in Neil Gaiman's work. His characters often struggle to come to grips with their dimly-remembered pasts (take Rose Walker in "The Doll's House" or any of the characters in "A Game of You" from The Sandman, or even the protagonists of "Black Orchid.")
"Violent Cases" explores the gauzy environs of childhood memory. As he would later attempt with much more poignant effect in "The Tragical Comedy of Mr. Punch," Gaiman here examines a grown man's efforts to make sense out of violence in his dimly-remembered past, in this case revolving around a man who may have been Al Capone's osteopath.
The tale, while simple, is masterfully plotted, allowing the reader to make connections the narrator himself may not make. While the telling is a bit ham-handed in spots (you can almost see Gaiman grinning smugly at certain points; not a good thing), one must reflect that this was written quite early in the author's career, and marked quite a departure from comic book conventions. Even Art Spiegelman felt it necessary to use some of the art's cliches in his groundbreaking "Maus"; Gaiman chooses to ignore them quite audaciously.
The artwork by Dave McKean shows a strong Sienkiewicz influence almost wholly alien to his later work, yet still quite appealing.
I highly recommend "Violent Cases" to anyone with a more mature taste in comic books and to fans of Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean's body of work. Although an early effort, "Violent Cases" clearly presages the glory to come for this most successful comic book collaboration.
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