Brandon Borzelli’s Geek Goggle Reviews
Queen Crab #1 Hardcover
Palmiotti & Eiguren
Jimmy Palmiotti’s latest creator owned work is a one-shot hardcover that makes use of a lot of different genres to tell a funny, mysterious, grotesque and entertaining read. The book pulls no punches as Palmiotti throws in sex, violence, horror, alcoholism, harassment at work and a Circus Freak Show. The book runs about $13 for roughly 50 pages of story, but when you factor in that this was a Kickstarter project I would consider this to be a gem and a bargain, especially with the hardcover treatment. If you are fan of something (or everything) different then I would check this book out for sure.
The book is about a character named Ginger Drake. She, in itself, is an intriguing character. She’s about to be married to a guy she doesn’t really care too much about, Murray. She’s got a lover on the side who is really a best friend that she sleeps with. She’s got an abusive, albeit sexy, boss as well as an odd-ball sister, alcoholic mother and self-absorbed mother-in-law. It’s quite the melting pot.
Ginger finds herself in the ocean (I’m not spoiling this part) and she reemerges with crab arms. This produces an interesting dilemma, especially because she murders someone in the fray. As the book progresses, the story becomes more about how Ginger lives with her claw arms and not so much why she has them.
The book is a very dense read. Not only does Palmiotti give a ton of narration, but he also provides a tremendous amount of dialogue. This is not a quick read. The book takes its time building the universe, the characters and their situations, much like a slice-of-life comic might do, over nearly the entire book. We don’t even see the claw hands until nearly half way through the book. This all works because Palmiotti reveals the character layers while slowly baking the plot.
Palmiotti provides extremely witty dialogue. His characters speak as though they are just a part of every day life. Well, except characters in his books seem to have sex that even rabbits would envy. But all of this works to make the dense book a faster and more fun read. You can’t help but fall in love with the characters, even the shadier ones.
The only downside is that the book ends just as the adventure begins. This is definitely a story that serves as building block. Sure, the story is self-enclosed but I felt like we were just about to launch into something even more crazy than the opening story and then the comic ended.
Artiz Eiguren provides very soft pencils. It’s a bit of a departure from what you might expect to find in a Palmiotti book or a horror book but it works. He brings a certain level of humanity and emotion to the characters that I’m not sure just any old artist would be able to accomplish. The book has a nice flow to the layouts and the art definitely takes the story into some crazy directions in the second half of the book. The muted tones make this book very reminiscent of something out of the Hellboy universe and that fits this story perfectly.
Queen Crab is a fun read. The book uses some violence, some humor, strange situations (some of which are sexual) and a strong plot to tell a terrific story. Pick it up and I guarantee you will be entertained. The only question is: when’s the sequel?
4 out of 5 Geek Goggles