Fell was among four graphic novels I picked up at the library one day. The other three were volumes of Scalped. I didn’t realize it at the time but I guess I was in the mood for graphic crime fiction. Both Scalped and Fell: Feral City satisfied that, though they took different routes. I’m unfamiliar with the genre, but will guess Scalped would fit into the “hardboiled” classification of crime fiction. It is gritty and violent and no one is truly innocent.
Fell is the opposite. Fell is cool. It might be “noir” without the trenchcoats. It’s more the detached Bogart playing Sam Spade in the Maltese Falcon. Scalped is more Al Pacino in Scarface — big one-liners and catch phrases and big guns and bodily fluids.
Detective Richard Fell, through whose eyes we see Snowtown, ends up there as punishment for a misdeed, though you are never told what it was. However, you are told that no one wants to be in Snowtown. It’s always dark there — even the few glimpses of day are depicted as dark and fuzzy. What’s interesting about Feral City isn’t how creative the crimes are but why the perpetrators say they did it.
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