February 27, 2010

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Union Station

Written by Ande Parks
Illustrated by Eduardo Barreto
Oni Press

[From the archives.]

This is a nifty graphic novel from Oni Press. In this case, we have a graphic portrayal of the Union Station Massacre, deeply researched by Parks and drawn in a crisp, Dick Tracy-style by Barreto. Parks sticks mostly to the facts as given, but takes a tack that the Feds were not as clean as some of the histories suggest.

We learn this in the endnotes (yes, this graphic novel has endnotes!) which are quite enlightening. One of the wonderful things about comics that is that they can be used for so many things. In this case, Parks provides a history of a violent time and uses Barreto's art to show the reader what he's learned.

My only problem with this one is that Barreto, in trying for a realistic style, doesn't give us quite enough distinct ways to keep the characters straight, so sometimes I got a little lost. I'd have liked maybe a few fancy ties or hats or something to keep me on track. But that's a minor quibble--this one's a gem, and if you like crime stories, you should pick it up.