GARY: BOOK ONE, a Study in Comic Book Pacing

Gary by Tyrell Cannon

Gary by Tyrell Cannon

Tyrell Cannon certainly did not pick an easy subject or protagonist when he decided to write and draw, Gary, a work is loosely based on the green river killer, who was responsible for the deaths of over 70 women from 1982-2001.  A failure that many comic book creators make is to start with a character that is not easily understood or empathized with.  Gary should be like this but through smart comic book pacing and character development, Cannon has successfully made Gary worth reading.

Gary is a serial killer, a personality often relegated to just being portrayed as evil or at the very least vicious on Dateline NBC.  With Gary, Cannon doesn’t justify the horrific things that his protagonist has done, he just makes an attempt at looking at the aspects of the character’s life that few others would be willing to.  Cannon talks about the small things in Gary’s life, the mundane things in his life:  grocery shopping, his fascination with The Green River, eating dinner with the wife that is divorcing him, the things that should have been the focus of his life when murder was.  Cannon builds an incredible suspense with these details that often ultimately leads to another killing and the progression of Gary’s life.

Gary has moments of absolute silence that make this book an excellent progression of suspense but that also don’t clutter the pages/panels with trite voice over or dialogue that in other books would try to explain the images and the inner-workings of a madman’s mind.  Cannon presents what he knows, what he can imagine and does not force his own hand to provide details that would make Gary uninteresting and like all other serial killers we’ve been subjected to.  Cannon does not provide a psychological make-up of Gary, he provides the details that he imagines are important to Gary, the things that are real and tangible and build his character in a way that the reader can understand.

Gary is an excellent read and I highly recommend it if you have any morbid or otherwise interest in serial killers, well-crafted comic books or smart writing.

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  1. [...] fine folks over at Buy Indie Comics were kind enough to do a nice review of Gary.  Click to [...]

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