Sunday, 26 April 2015

Review: Gunsmith Cats: Revised Edition Omnibus 1, by Kenichi Sonoda

Irene ‘Rally’ Vincent sells guns. Minnie May loves explosions. They fight crime. In Chicago. With lots of guns and explosions.

The reverence Sonoda shows towards firearms seems native to a country with strict gun laws1. He loves guns like a steam engine enthusiast loves trains. A hobbyist’s fascination drives him to understand these exotic objects. While American gun nuts possess as much knowledge, the Western worship of guns depends on its violent ends. They care how a gun works only so far as it tells them how big a load it could blow through someone’s head. And while Sonoda does blow a few holes through heads, he also treats guns as artisan objects, refreshing one wearied by the Freudian, frat boy gun love of Western popular culture.

Saturday, 11 April 2015

Review: Fantômas, by Marcel Allain and Pierre Souvestre

[This review contains slight spoilers, both explicitly and by implication.]

"‘You are mad, boy, absolutely mad! Vidocq – Rocambole! You mix up legend and history, lump together murderers with detectives, and make no distinction between right and wrong! You would not hesitate to put the heroes of crime and the heroes of law and order on one and the same pedestal!’

‘You have said the word, sir,’ Charles Rambert exclaimed; ‘they are all heroes. But, better still Fantômas–’"

Fantômas, 1911

A flame-lit discussion on that force of criminality, Fantômas, foreshadows the lady of the house’s slaughter. A missing English lord appears dead in a trunk. A foreign Princess, too scared to screamed, bathes as a burglar cuts her alarm. Only Juve, an Inspector of supreme deductive creativity, can grasp at the tenuous, yet iron, thread between the crimes. But is even his genius enough?