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Schlomo Raven, Public Detective Paperback – 1976

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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: New York: Byron Preiss Visual Publications / Pyramid Books # P4076 1st Edition; Paperback Original edition (1976)
  • ISBN-10: 0515040762
  • ISBN-13: 978-0515040760
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,422,855 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Schlomo Raven was the first in the "Fiction Illustrated" series that promised to bring a new breed of fiction into the world: a full-length comic book for adults. The plot and characters are parodies of the detective story -- those of Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler as well as more recent cinema and television productions. Its particular genius is the ability to use the visual medium to combine words and image in such a way to create humor only possible on the pages of a comic book. The visual jokes aren't of the right sort for the big or small screen, and they would be unintelligible in a traditional novel. The book is not quite a novel: it's two short stories starring Schlomo Raven. The first one features characters who stand in for the Marx brothers, Carmen Miranda (or Mary Aster, depending on whom you ask), Boris Karloff, and Bela Lugosi, as well as the stock characters of detective fiction: Schlomo Raven -- world's smallest detective, a competent and beautiful secretary, and a client whose troubles are better dealt with outside the law. The second story is closer to an Orson Wells plot. I don't include more detail because I don't want to spoil the reader's fun in rediscovering this 1976 masterpiece of comics fiction, which is also a delightful send-up of the conventional detective story.

Schlomo Raven is one of the first of the form that we now, for better or worse, call graphic novels.

The next two novels in the series are Starfawn and Chandler: The Red Tide. Starfawn is science fiction/fantasy; Chandler is a detective story without the satiric elements of Schlomo Raven but with its own breed of visual brilliance.
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