Murder Book: A Graphic Memoir of a True Crime Obsession

Andrews McMeel. Nov. 2021. 336p. ISBN 9781524861162. pap. $19.99. GRAPHIC NOVELS
Cartoonist and stand-up comedian Campbell (illustrator of Are You My Uber??) meditates on her lifelong fascination with true crime in this playful blend of cultural criticism and personal history. In lengthy sections devoted to the Zodiac Killer, Ted Bundy, and Scott Peterson, Campbell weaves together detailed accounts of their alleged crimes and observations on how her fascination with murderers shaped her worldview and her relationship with her mother (a fellow murder and mayhem aficionado). Elsewhere, Campbell offers an overview of the true crime genre, commenting on a vast assortment of books, documentaries, and podcasts. An exploration of the genre’s allure for women in particular, proves a highlight, as do a chapter paying tribute to best-selling true crime writer Ann Rule and several passages devoted to illuminating the lives of the oft-overlooked, frequently villainized victims at the heart of true crime tales.
VERDICT Early in this hefty tome, Campbell’s seemingly haphazard willingness to follow various tangents quickly proves a brilliant structural design that allows intuitive and enlightening connections between cases, texts, and the author’s own life. True crime fans are sure to embrace this funny, fascinating volume.
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