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The Terrible Axe-Man of New Orleans by Rick…

The Terrible Axe-Man of New Orleans (2010)

by Rick Geary

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Author / illustrator Rick Geary doesn't try to solve this case, but instead lays out the confusing, horrible facts. He illustrates strictly in black-and-white drawings, using basic but effective facial expressions and lots of straight lines in his buildings and rooms. His small panel drawings are very good, but in two instances - a swamp and Mardi Gras - his drawings are hard to interpret, largely because of the lack of color. Irritatingly, he provided a map of New Orleans with axes plunged in the crime sites but fails to make clear which attack took place at which site. ( )
  Coach_of_Alva | Feb 2, 2014 |
Reason for Reading: Next in the series.

It has been over a year since I last read a book in this series and I was very eager to settle down with my favourite graphic artist once more. Unfortunately, I found the book rather mediocre. Geary's artwork, as usual is wonderful. No one does b&w like he does and his artwork is simply perfect for the mood and atmosphere of murder and the macabre. So I had no complaints in that department but I found the actual story and how it was written rather disappointing. First, the book begins with Part I which is simply the history of Louisiana in general and New Orleans specifically. Though somewhat interesting it felt like filler possibly added later to make the book the right number of pages. What I usually enjoy about these books is admittedly the gory details and in the case of unsolved crimes, Geary's thorough presentation of possible identities of the killer. I found the story went very fast, briefly touching upon each murder quickly in a row, then dwelling on the last one where arrests were made, and followed by a quick two page summary of the puzzles still unanswered and giving no presentations of who the possible killer may have been. This case is new to me and I feel that if there just wasn't that much information available, it was a poor one to choose to focus on for a book. Whatever the reasons, Geary has left an unsatisfactory presentation and conclusion to this tale of murder. ( )
  ElizaJane | Mar 11, 2012 |
This is another terrific entry into the true-crime graphic format. Here, we are in New Orleans 1918 and a killer, of course wielding an axe, is terrorizing the Crescent City. His targets are immigrant shop-owners, mostly attacking them in their beds at night.
The city was paralyzed with fright. The killer was never found.
The black and white illustrations are stark and ideal, even in their gruesome simplicity and the story, well-researched, matches them perfectly.
The author has written many of these true-crime books and I’m looking forward to sampling more. ( )
  msf59 | Feb 12, 2012 |
The Terrible Axe-Man of New Orleans is a true crime graphic novel that covers a series of mysterious axe murders/attacks that occurred in New Orleans (obviously) at the turn of the century. Geary's text once again confirms that graphic novels are an excellent medium for true crime, as it allows authors to truly capture the horror of events; what may be unnecessary purple prose in traditional true crime is translated to captivating illustrations that more easily hold the reader's attention and sympathy. While Axe-Man is not a spectacular example on its own, it is an enjoyable graphic novel, and certainly worth a peek for those interested in the genre(s). ( )
  Luxx | Jan 25, 2012 |
I really enjoy the 20th Century Murder Series, even though I have only read three. They have a way of condensing the materials surrounding an unsolved murder and making them accessible to the general public. Yet, the illustrations and many times the stories are very similar. It is for this reason that I read them sparingly. When I saw that they had published a piece on the ax murderer of New Orleans, I just had to get my hands on it.

The graphic novel begins with a brief history of New Orleans which helps to give context to the murders. Additionally, it works as an abbreviated history lesson that is both informative and interesting. In 1918, Joseph and Catherine Maggio were murdered in their bed. The murders were similar to those committed seven years prior when an Italian couple who owned a grocery store were murdered in their beds. In both of the crimes, the houses were broken into by dislodging a panel of wood in the front door and the victims were killed by axes. When similar crimes continue to erupt in New Orleans, the entire city is put on alert and the question is asked “who is the axe murderer and when will he stop?”

I felt that the illustrations in this installment were actually better than those in other graphic novels in the series. The graphics seemed more intricate and interesting. Unlike most graphic novels, the illustrations aren’t exactly needed because the text tells the entire story. Yet, the text is quite dry and almost seems as if it is taken directly from court transcripts. Therefore, the graphics make the novel much more enticing to readers. I would certainly recommend this graphic novel and might even tell readers to start with this one when reading the series.

www.iamliteraryaddicted.blogspot.com ( )
  sorell | Nov 21, 2011 |
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The city of New Orleans was born from the swampy wilderness...
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During the years 1918 and 1919, six people in New Orleans were killed and six more injured, in their homes, in the dead of night, by an axe-wielding intruder who got away without a trace. After more than a year, the killings stopped as suddenly as they started. No trace of the murderer was ever found. Geary presents the facts and the speculations about these attacks in the third in his series on twentieth-century murder.… (more)

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