Filed under: Comic Reviews, Image Comics | Tags: Artiz Eiguren, David Lynch, Jimmy Palmiotti, Queen Crab, Stephen King
Although last week’s releases offered us a few fresh new reads, Queen Crab is something quite different from the likes of Saga and Saucer County. In fact it’s pretty bonkers, but in a good way. It’s got one of the most surreal and disturbing covers we’ve seen in a while, and the tone continues inside, but is it worth reading? Dive in and find out. (*Note – the rest of the review will refrain from using fish/ocean puns*)
There was slightly more than the awkward cover that drew me to this book when I was flicking through Previews a couple of months back – described as ‘In the tradition of David Lynch and Stephen King…’ there was little chance I’d let this one slip through my radar. As a massive Lynch fan, I do love a bit of surreal fiction to dissect and ponder over, but I can’t say I’ve experience this much in the world of comics. Grant Morrison comes closest probably with some of his baffling stories, but nothing quite captures the haunting, disjointed images of Lynch. Could this be the comic to change my mind?
In short, it doesn’t – but it does do a good job at offering up one of the more surreal plots I’ve seen in comics. The tale revolves around Ginger, a twenty-something girl in a job she hates, about to marry a man that both she’s cheating on and who is also cheating on her (and she knows it). During their honeymoon aboard a cruise ship, someone attempts to kill poor Ginger by tossing her off the side of the boat, however rather than drowning and dying, she instead wakes up the next morning with crab claws for arms. ‘WTF?!’ I hear you cry – yep, it’s pretty messed up.
This doesn’t turn into the adventures of Aquaman’s new assistant, in fact it’s polar opposites to your normal superhero fare. Even better, the story doesn’t really deal with the whys and wherefores of the claws, but instead focuses on the unfortunate life of poor Ginger. If you forget about the claws, this is really just a tale about someone who’s ended up a little stuck in life, with little hope for the future, and really the claws just alter her path in life, to help her get out of this rut. It’s for this reason that I quite enjoyed the book, warming more to the character based on her emotional journey rather than her current physical predicament.
It’s probably more ‘Stephen King’ than the ’Lynch’ that I would have hoped for, but that’s in no way a bad thing. Presented in hardcover from Image, this is clearly a labour of love from writer Jimmy Palmiotti, made possible through the increasingly popular Kickstarter web site. We’re starting to see more and more creators favouring Kickstarter to get things moving in the direction they would like to work, rather than doing what publishers want, which is clear from Jimmy’s note in his afterword on the book – ‘It’s a bit of a departure for me, but to anyone that knows me, it’s probably the kind of material I should be doing more of’.
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