Thursday, April 26, 2012
The 51-page graphic novel is published by CDComics and is written and illustrated by Craig Daley.
D.C.I. Bramley of the London Metropolitan Police has a knack for solving crimes of the supernatural persuasion. That comes in handy when he's called upon to investigate what appears to be three murders at Meadowhell Mall. The lavish new shopping center is being open despite the protests of Father Keane, a man of the cloth worried that the shopping "cathedral" will distract people from the true cathedral.
The three victims in the mall appeared to have been killed by more than just a typical murder. The clues presented seem to indicate that they were the unfortunate victims of something more, which is what Bramley and you the reader are invited to investigate.
Daley has peppered the work with small clues, whether it be signs on the wall or timestamps on the surveillance videos. It's an interesting way to get the reader involved, but for some reason the clues didn't really stick out. They did in a way, in that they were prominent, but they didn't in that they're somewhat difficult to decipher.
Further, the crime is solved and the mall is opened. Twenty years later people are still going to it and it's earned the nickname "Meadowhell" because of the crowds it draws. The blind submission to shopping angers and disappoints the powers above and it appears that Daley's message here is that maybe people take shopping and spending money a little too seriously.
The art in the graphic novel is very basic. There are basic shapes combined to form bodies and some of the panels are recycled. It's not the art you'd see in a lot of other books these days.
Meadowhell: The True Horror of Shopping has a little trouble deciding what it wants to be. There are elements of a mystery, a treatise on society and a nod to religion and its influences on us. The whodunnit aspect of it is refreshing, but doesn't really come together. The ending is a bit of a twist, but the story didn't really seem to be building up to it.
Still, if you're anti-shopping and think people probably do spend too much time in malls, then this book will probably be right up your alley.
Meadowhell: The True Horror of Shopping is available now. Interiors below.