Jesus Christ, do Vertigo’s crime series of mini-sized hardcover OGN’s ever suck? Because Fogtown by writer Anderson Gabrych and artist Brad Rader, the latest one in my collection, is pretty amazing.
Set in 1953 San Francisco at the tail-end of the Korean War and the beginnings of counterculture on the American West Coast, Fogtown is about down-and-out PI Frank Grissel’s investigation into what starts out as a missing girl that spirals out of control into murder, sex, corruption, and hidden lives.
Not only are there about 4 different twists in a row in this story that all had me sitting up on the couch yelling “WHUUUUU?” while my fiancee laughed at me because she read it first, but Rader’s art, reminiscent of post-Depression era murals (in that very awesome post-modern sorta way that reminds me a bit of “Batman: The Animated Series”) is perfect for the series, conveying the right amounts of harshness and ugly while still being incredibly striking and expressive. I’m normally not a really big fan of greyscale in art, but in this case it worked perfectly in conveying the sense of perpetual haze that’s seeping through the setting, both literal as well as metaphorical.
These releases are a pretty amazing idea that I think Vertigo should be applauded for. Fogtown‘s the latest in a totally freaking stellar line of straight-up mindbending crime/mystery comics that we don’t see enough of;
Ones that you can’t actually guess the ending of.