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Violent Cases Paperback – Import, January 1, 1987


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Paperback, Import, January 1, 1987
$3.98

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Escape (1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0950956864
  • ISBN-13: 978-0950956862
  • Product Dimensions: 10.8 x 8.2 x 0.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,592,173 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I make things up and write them down. Which takes us from comics (like SANDMAN) to novels (like ANANSI BOYS and AMERICAN GODS) to short stories (some are collected in SMOKE AND MIRRORS) and to occasionally movies (like Dave McKean's MIRRORMASK or the NEVERWHERE TV series, or my own short film A SHORT FILM ABOUT JOHN BOLTON).

In my spare time I read and sleep and eat and try to keep the blog at www.neilgaiman.com more or less up to date.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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See all 17 customer reviews
Excellent short story, with amazing art work!
Peter Walters
And if we look at them very closely, we begin to realize how scary some of those memories can be.
David M. Mayeux
For any Neil Gaiman/Dave Mckean fan, this book is a great addition.
Jeremy Shuback

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey A. Veyera VINE VOICE on February 13, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The persistence of memory is a common theme in Neil Gaiman's work. His characters often struggle to come to grips with their dimly-remembered pasts (take Rose Walker in "The Doll's House" or any of the characters in "A Game of You" from The Sandman, or even the protagonists of "Black Orchid.")
"Violent Cases" explores the gauzy environs of childhood memory. As he would later attempt with much more poignant effect in "The Tragical Comedy of Mr. Punch," Gaiman here examines a grown man's efforts to make sense out of violence in his dimly-remembered past, in this case revolving around a man who may have been Al Capone's osteopath.
The tale, while simple, is masterfully plotted, allowing the reader to make connections the narrator himself may not make. While the telling is a bit ham-handed in spots (you can almost see Gaiman grinning smugly at certain points; not a good thing), one must reflect that this was written quite early in the author's career, and marked quite a departure from comic book conventions. Even Art Spiegelman felt it necessary to use some of the art's cliches in his groundbreaking "Maus"; Gaiman chooses to ignore them quite audaciously.
The artwork by Dave McKean shows a strong Sienkiewicz influence almost wholly alien to his later work, yet still quite appealing.
I highly recommend "Violent Cases" to anyone with a more mature taste in comic books and to fans of Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean's body of work. Although an early effort, "Violent Cases" clearly presages the glory to come for this most successful comic book collaboration.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Bad Playah Brown Dogg on December 7, 2005
Format: Paperback
This is the second book that I've read by Neil Gaiman. The artwork blows you away. This is what graphic novels should look and feel like. Violent Cases just captures the awe and fear of the unknown from a child's perspective. It seemed like I could smell the narrator's cigarette smoke and was transported back to the 80s (when this was written) to listen to his story. What is even better about the artwork is that it varies from page to page. Not that every spread is different but to capture the story best, each scene is different. From line drawings to paintings, this book is remarkable. Definite must read.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 30, 1998
Format: Paperback
Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean are each overwhelmingly talented in their own right. When they work together, their respective skills create a blend of compelling concepts and powerful storytelling. Violent Cases is their first work together, and McKean has called it "The one I got wrong," but it is definitive and unforgettable, nonetheless.
The story is a memory: an adult's recollection of a childhood encounter with a man who claimed to be Al Capone's osteopath. The memory combines fragments of a genteel children's party and a 1920's mob massacre; the child's fears of the present intertwine with the doctor's tales of horror from the past.
Interjections from the adult narrator fit perfectly as a framework to the stunning story. The story opens with the unnerving words, "I would not want you to think I was a battered child..." and, at later points in the book, the narrator's recollection of the osteopath's appearance shifts dramatically. The visuals flow along perfectly with the unstable thoughts, which adds to the atmosphere of memory.
Gaiman and McKean are sharing a wavelength. Although Mister Punch is their masterpiece, Violent Cases is also powerful in story, structure, and design. Not flawless, but still a worthy work of art.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By David M. Mayeux on September 19, 2002
Format: Paperback
"I like to remember things my own way . . . as i remember them. not necessarily the way they happened." These lines from _Forgotten Highway_ evoke the feel of Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean's compelling and evocative _Violent Cases_.
Enter the dimly lit, vague world of a man (who looks amazingly like Gaiman himself) remembering incidents from his childhood: a world of odd dentists, stupid birthday parties, evil magicians, and violent cases (violin cases). Our hero (for all of Gaiman's children are heroes) goes through his coming of age, in a frightening yet curious way, by peeking behind the curtain, while Gaiman's words and McKean's art take us along for the ride, peeking behind the curtain of memory.
Gaiman readers will definitely see similarities in style between this story and _Mr. Punch_, which, in my mind, stands as a companion piece to this book. Memory and its tricks, traps, twists and turns serve as the vehicle for both, and it's the uncertain but unquestioning way that we go through the memories that make these books so brilliant.
We all have memories. And if we look at them very closely, we begin to realize how scary some of those memories can be. As Gaiman shows us time and time again, the world is a threatening one to children: too big, too confusing, where children are constantly lied to and hushed even in moments of brilliance. Yet somehow we made it. Let Gaiman and McKean remind you how.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Jeremy Shuback on December 7, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
For any Neil Gaiman/Dave Mckean fan, this book is a great addition. It's their first collaboration (I think Dave was 24 when he made the art for this) and really shows where they came from. They talk about that in the introduction. It goes without saying, if you know these creators, that it stands on its own far better then most graphic novels, and pigeon holing it to just Gaiman/McKean fans is an insult. Every time I show a new person this book, they're blown away by seeing a comic with art this engaging. There's so much love the two of them poured into it and this was what put them both on the map. While they're skills have come a long way in the 20+ years since this came out, this book has more of a raw feel and stands as an inspiration for any fledgling artist or writer. While many creators have that 'Well, you need to start somewhere' movie or book Gaiman and McKean instead have this brilliant work that shows just how good they were from the very start.
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