How does the style and narrative treat the real-life story? As funny, serious, or a combination of the two?
I would describe the comic as serious in nature – it has a factual and impersonal tone.
How is the story structured? How does it begin and end, and from whose perspective is it told?
The story is told from a third person perspective via the captions – as though someone is recounting the story at a later date, possibly a newspaper reporter or police officer.
I thought the first panel certainly grabbed the reader’s attention, with the combination of the caption stating ‘ The crime of century’; the speech bubble saying ‘Now then, what’s this?’; along with the character looking at something, the reader has not yet seen. It was a good example of using the three different elements effectively.
The story begins with the discovery of the boy’s body and then each frame seems to flash back and forwards in time, which I did find slightly confusing during my first read-though.
The last panel is the only one not based on actual events and adds an element of compassion to the story by stating how old the victim would be in the present day, if he was still alive, perhaps living out his final years peacefully in a retirement village in Florida.
How does the style and composition of the pictures affect the atmosphere of the story?
The use of a desaturated, limited colour palette of yellow and blue is well-suited to the sombreness and factual tone of the story. It does not distract or highlight any particular area of the composition, so the reader can absorb the panel as a whole.
The style of drawing is clean and cartoony (despite the story’s sinister content), allowing for the use of textual sound effects such as ‘clunk’ to indicate the boy being hit over the head with a chisel rather using more graphic, realistic image.
The style reminded me of Hergé’s Tintin books.