Violent Cases Review: Another Masterpiece From Gaiman

Neil Gaiman is considered to be one of the more “literary” comic writers as the writer of the “Sandman” series. One of his earlier books, “Violent Cases,” originally published in 1987 then republished in 2003 and 2013 and illustrated by Dave McKean, garnered acclaim then and even ten years later, it’s well deserved.

The story is about an unnamed man retelling his childhood experience with Al Capone’s osteopath. We also see a little child’s new found experience in a world that he would normally not be a part of.

The narrative voice reads like a real person is talking to you directly. It feels real enough that the reader thinks that someone is telling them this experience. On top of that, Gaiman manages to make the point of view sound like it’s from someone remembering what it was like to be a child.

There isn’t much in terms of what happens to the narrator. What does happen to him are more personal feelings about that time than any actual events. Some of the ones that stand out are the narrator’s father breaking the narrator’s arm and how scared he was of the magician at birthday parties who is bald and very large. These small instances give the character a much broader sense of realism; he feels like a real kid.

The osteopath’s experiences also feel genuine. The memories of Al Capone don’t seem like they were thought up by a novelist, they sound like something that Capone would’ve done.

McKean’s art is a basic pencil drawing. This style is done in a way that gives the comic a somber and dark tone to it that fits nicely with the narration. Its basic design doesn’t draw attention away from the story seeing as how an overabundance of detail is not needed for this type of story.

Neil Gaiman’s “Violent Cases” is another masterpiece by one of today’s most well-respected writers. Throw in Dave McKean’s art and this one is an instant classic.

About Rocco Sansone 843 Articles
Rocco Sansone is a “man of many interests.” These include anime/manga, video games, tabletop RPGs, YA literature, 19th century literature, the New York Rangers, and history. Among the things and places he would like to see before he dies are Japan, half of Europe, and the New York Rangers win another Stanley Cup.

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