- Post by Crime Fiction Coordinator Scott Montgomery
Lately, many crime novelists have been crossing over into comics. Denise Mina did a run on Hellblazer, and there are new graphic novel versions of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo series. Greg Hurwitz, Jason Starr and Megan Abbott have contributed to The Punisher’s legend. Duane Swierzcynski and Victor Gischler have made second careers out of comics. The latest author to make the leap into the medium is Ace Atkins with the adaption of his short story, Last Fair Deal gone Down.
The graphic novel features Ace’s first series character, blues historian Nick Travers. His world gets rocked when Fats, one of his favorite sax players, is murdered. Nick hits the Big Easy back alleys looking for those responsible.
Atkins and artist Marco Finnegan completely compliment each other. Ace keeps the story tight and sparse, allowing the visuals to do much of the talking. It makes me want to see him do more work in comics. Finnegan has a knack for catching the right expression on a character, dialing down the dramatic moments, so they never veer into melodrama. The simple black and white inks and poetic hardboiled writing create the mood and even music for the story.
At the end of Last Fair Deal Gone Down, we are told to look out for an adaptation of Ace’s first Nick Travers novel, Crossroad Blues. I already am. Both artist and author are neither afraid of their emotions or influences. Last Fair Deal Gone Down is a fresh look at an old character.
You can find copies of Last Fair Deal Gone Down on our shelves and via bookpeople.com. Come by BookPeople this upcoming Saturday, July 16th, at 3 PM, for an event with Ace Atkins, speaking and signing his latest addition to his critically acclaimed Quinn Colson series, The Innocents.