Dead Inside

Written by John Arcudi
Art by Toni Fejula
Colors by Andre' May
Letters by Joe Sabino

Published by Dark Horse

Buy it HERE.

A tight circle.

Lots of comic book crime stories use a prison scene or two. Mayfield Eight by coincidence has me getting into the pencils for my 'prison scene' just next week. Dead Inside however pretty much centers around solely a single prison.

A gigantic inmate gets stabbed to death by a skinny runt... who then hangs himself. Police Detective Linda Caruso is charged with filing the report of cause of death. A simple open and shut case. But the facts don't add up for Linda. The skinny guy no way could've bested the giant in a fight without being on some sort of drug. Detective Caruso insists an autopsy be conducted. He also didn't have that much time left to serve.

As Detective Caruso uncovers the mystery deeper and deeper we see her on her journey pretty much alone. The prison guards and system workers aren't much help. Neither are her police superiors. But she persists... and gets to the bottom in the end. It was a very, very satisfying read. Those of you reading this who are into the writing end of comics -especially whodunits- should check out this book for sure!

For now, I'm done talking any more about the writing.

Idiosyncratic artwork strikes again!

I can't sing enough praises -and learn some- for Toni Fejula's artwork (I'm assuming he inks his own stuff)! He changes up proportions. There's strange extreme forced perspective. Big scary guys have extremely thick necks or exaggerated proportions. Some women have skinny gourd-shaped heads while other women have roundish pumpkin heads. Yet it all works.

You got to know how to meter it.

Toni Fejula's style has a certain kind of logic all to its own. Not just with the exaggerations but with very odd camera placements. In comics, placing the camera refers to just what you think it would mean if this were a movie. Toni sometimes puts it right smack dab inches away from the nose of a character. But the real genius of his technique is in his metering of the effect. What I mean is, often times a panel or two appear just as you'd expect: no need for exaggeration. Other times it's completely full-on. And here's the thing: it matches the tension of the story!

Matching your idiosyncratic quirks to the story is a whole another skill that I seldom see exercised in comic art. Dead Inside is perhaps the best example of what can be accomplished to make a truly unique reading experience!

Next Tuesday:

The Killer

No, this isn't about Jerry Lee Lewis...

... it's French.


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