Thursday, December 1, 2011
Graphic Novel Review: Bloody Benders
In case you're like me and don't know the story, I'll rely it here. In 1870, John Bender Jr. and John Bender Sr. staked their claim in Kansas along the Osage Trail. Within a year, they have built a house, a grocery store and have sent for their family. The parents speak very little english and count on their beautiful daughter, Kate, to help them survive. The family dabbles in spiritualism and holds seances that have the potential to become violent. Yet, it isn’t until dead bodies start appearing in nearby towns that the Benders become #1 on the suspect list. That is if only the authorities can find them.
I absolutely love the graphics in this book; they're stark and eerie. Though they're in black and white, Geary is able to solicit great emotion and depth. The illustrations are simple, but they're far from being dull or drab. The clean lines and use of black and white (even without any gray) work well with the subject matter and atmosphere of the empty and vulnerable prairie.
This one is a bit different because from the rest of the series because the murders are clearly known. Instead, the mystery is where the Bender’s fled to and if they will ever be found. Still, like the other issues in the series, it is like watching an episode of unsolved mysteries with a little bit of a history lesson.