Sunday, July 22, 2012

Thirty Days of Graphic Novels: Day One "Britten & Brulightly"

The Wife & Boomer are away in Canada for a month, and I although I miss them terribly, it does give me extra time to putz around with my various stockpiles of books, comics, and t.v. shows.  One of the plans I've had for this time is "Thirty Days of Graphic Novels," wherein I'll read and post about a graphic novel each day.  Many of these are ones I've read before, but years ago, and a few are brand new.  Today's entry is in the latter category and comes thanks to the library:  Britten & Brulightly by Hannah Berry.

Britten & Brulightly is the tale of a private "researcher" (investigator) named Fernandez Britten.  Nicknamed "The Heartbreaker" for his years spend uncovering cheating spouses to the dismay of his clients, Britten now takes on only serious cases involving murder.  The plot of Britten & Brulightly is intentionally evocative of classic noir, and the beautiful artwork reinforces the connection: trench coats, phone booths, rainy streets, and so forth.  Britten is hired by the wife of a recently deceased man whom the authorities think killed himself; but she thinks differently.  With the help of his "partner", Brulightly, Britten gets involved in a complicated case involving blackmail, adultery, and murder.  I mention Brulightly because Britten's partner, whom he talks to and takes advice from, is the one aspect of this graphic novel that sits it purely in the realm of either fantasy or Britten's insanity: Brulightly is a tea-bag!  Don't let this turn you off, however, as it's neither cartoony nor silly in context; it just adds a layer of surrealism that leaves the reader wondering just what is going on inside Britten's head.  Anyway, it's a great story with great dialogue and characters, and a book I would love to add to my collection if it wasn't a bit too pricey.  I can admit to getting a bit lost by the complicated plot, but I'm sure a re-read would solve that problem.

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