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Red Handed: The Fine Art of Strange Crimes Hardcover – May 7, 2013

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* In the city of Red Wheel Barrow, crime is on the rise—though no case goes unsolved, thanks to the brilliant, restless mind of Detective Gould. The offbeat nature of the lawbreaking (a woman steals chairs, a novelist lifts words for her book, a Peeping Tom sabotages elevators to get his thrills) could easily be played for yuks, but Kindt goes deeper, turning the seemingly random episodes into a rumination on the nature of crime itself. What is crime? Is there crime without victims? This fascinating work recalls Kindt’s earlier efforts (2 Sisters, 2004; Super Spy, 2007), combining his love for the trappings of crime fiction and nostalgia for the conventions of comic-book serials with an offbeat artistry and sly humor. Panels are precisely composed with casual line work and a muted color palette that reveals the texture of the paper. Newspaper clippings, imageless scenes of dialogue, and stylistic riffs (postcards, paperbacks, comics) keep things fresh and surprising. As characters recur (in particular, a real-estate agent named Tess), the story builds to a wonderfully structured and surprisingly affecting climax in which Gould is forced to confront the idea of preventing, rather than merely solving, crime. If David Lynch scripted Dick Tracy it might—might—be as great as this. --Keir Graff


“Matt Kindt is the man.” ―Junot Diaz

“*If David Lynch scripted Dick Tracy it might--might--be as great as this.” ―Booklist, starred review

“This hefty illustrated novel by a highly creative graphic artist and storyteller employs dazzling techniques in its presentation of an urban crime noir mystery.” ―VOYA

“Elegant scribbles from an electric mind.” ―Kirkus Reviews


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: First Second (May 7, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 159643662X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1596436626
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #196,749 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Matt Kindt is the Harvey Award winning writer and artist of the comics and graphic novels MIND MGMT, Frankenstein: Agent of S.H.A.D.E., Revolver, 3 Story, Super Spy, 2 Sisters, and Pistolwhip. He has been nominated for 4 Eisner and 3 Harvey Awards (and won once). His work has been published in French, Spanish, Italian, and German.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By bookworm1858 VINE VOICE on July 6, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Source: Received an e-ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

As part of my quest for broadening my reading horizons, I have become more open to reading graphic novels after an unfortunate period where I looked down on them (I know-I was a horrid snob!) I have since learned my lesson and am always on the lookout for ones that look intriguing such as Red Handed, which looked like a cool mystery, a favorite genre of mine.

I'm glad I read this as I found it absolutely gripping if completely confusing at first. The subtitle "The Fine Art of Strange Crimes" is certainly appropriate. See, it begins as what seems to be a collection of only loosely related short stories before you start to see how everything is tied together. For example, it's all set in the same city with one detective at the core. I really don't want to spoil anything so I'm going to stop there other than to say that it was very interesting and if you put all the pieces together, you still won't want the solution to be what it is.

Unfortunately as is so often the case for me with graphic novels in e-format, sometimes the fonts used were difficult to read. Now I don't think it's just because my eyes but the way it was designed in general. Thus I missed a few sections of text although I think I still got the basic gist. If this is of interest, I highly recommend getting a hard copy for the best reading experience.

I'm not much of an art connoisseur so I don't feel very confident commenting on it. I thought the drawings were very realistic and grounded, fitting with the story well and never detracting. As shown on the cover, the colors are fairly muted (no neon here!)

This was a good fast (adult because of a few of the drawings) read that managed to pack a considerable punch at the end despite its brevity. If you like mysteries, I think you'd enjoy this.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Andy Shuping on May 7, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Detective Gould is the greatest detective in the world, there's no crime he can't solve thanks to his mind and cutting-edge spy technology. Every criminal in the city of Red Wheelbarrow is caught red handed. But lately...there have been a series of crimes that while solved, leave Detective Gould stumped as to the why behind them. Will he discover the connection between the chair thief, the purloined street sign used to create a literary opus, and the photographer of anguished moments? Or has the great Detective Gould finally met his match?

When I'm sitting down to describe this book the thoughts that pop into my head are old school film noir detective meets a grownup Encyclopedia Brown. Why Encyclopedia Brown? Well just the way Detective Gould goes about catching his man using the tools at hand and his ability to piece together random clues using his intellect. Granted he hasn't pieced together the biggest mystery, but he'll get there. Film noir because there's this great element of old school literary feel to the novel. This isn't one of those novels where you just get told the story and you figure it out by page This is one of those books where you're handed clues and by the time you're almost done with the story you're realizing that everything is connected and it wasn't what you thought it was at all.

Matt weaves together a great literary story, one that keeps you on the edge of your seat wondering what the signs have to do with a painting and what all that has to do with chairs being stolen.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Cale E. Reneau on May 31, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Matt Kindt is far and away my favorite creator in comics today! His work is not only consistently amazing, but also dense, beautiful, complicated, and different. There is no one else like him. His monthly series from Dark Horse, Mind MGMT, is the book I most look forward to every month, and his book, 3 Story, completely reinvigorated my interest in the medium. In his new graphic novel, Red Handed: The Fine Art of Strange Crimes, Kindt has created his most complex work to date while giving readers something that is truly one of a kind.

Set in the town of Red Wheelbarrow, Red Handed is a story based around a series of strange crimes and the famous detective whose job it is to bring their perpetrators to justice. The compulsive chair thief, the Picasso "art dealer," the failed novelist, and several other strange criminals call this city their home. Each person has a chapter devoted to their crimes, giving the reader a chance to see their wrongdoings from a sympathetic perspective; and Kindt has gone to great lengths to humanize these miscreants.

As always, Kindt's watercolor-based art is intoxicating. Rarely does the artist limit himself to a standard 4, 6, or 9 panel page (there's actually a 24-panel page in here), utilizing each page as if it were a separate work of art. He also experiments with different methods of telling the story. There are separate comics within this comic; a technique he seems to have carried over from his Mind MGMT series. And while these mini-strips can be confusing at first, they truly help to flesh out the overarching story without taking the focus away from the criminals that rightfully receive the book's primary focus.
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