Wednesday, May 31, 2017

On the Coffee Table: Jules Feiffer

Title: Kill My Mother: A Graphic Novel
Writer and Artist: Jules Feiffer
via Amazon
Kill My Mother is a film noir in comic book form, though it does manage to extend beyond that genre's usual trappings.  At the heart of the story is a family drama - actually the dramas of two families, intertwined.  The tale gets complicated so I will fall back on the book jacket summary:

As our story begins, we meet Annie Hannigan [blogger note: a rather dark-hearted homage to the Little Orphan], an out-of-control teenager, jitterbugging in the 1930s. Annie dreams of offing her mother, Elsie, whom she blames for abandoning her for a job soon after her husband, a cop, is shot and killed. Now, employed by her husband s best friend an over-the-hill and perpetually soused private eye Elsie finds herself covering up his missteps as she is drawn into a case of a mysterious client, who leads her into a decade-long drama of deception and dual identities sprawling from the Depression era to World War II Hollywood and the jungles of the South Pacific.

Along with three femme fatales, an obsessed daughter, and a loner heroine, Kill My Mother features a fighter turned tap dancer, a small-time thug who dreams of being a hit man, a name-dropping cab driver, a communist liquorstore owner, and a hunky movie star with a mind-boggling secret. Culminating in a U.S.O. tour on a war-torn Pacific island, this disparate band of old enemies congregate to settle scores.

The story's certainly interesting but I had a few artistic issues.  The characters have a poured-out-of-a-bottle look which doesn't appeal to me.  Also, the female characters look too much alike, meaningful to the narrative but confusing.  That said, the plot twist is especially good, and not one you'd have been likely to see in the film style's heyday. 


  1. It sounds interesting. I'd have to flip through it.

  2. This sounds very interesting.
    Nice review !
    cheers, parsnip and thehamish

  3. Since art is the big focus to relate a story, it needs to be original and captivating.

    1. Absolutely. I will grant originality in this case. Not so sure about captivating - not to my taste, anyway.

  4. This sounds like it's right up my alley. I'm a comic book fan, but I do appreciate when the format is being shaken up a bit and offering something different other than heroes and villains all the time; plus, this story actually sounds pretty good too.