Reading Pile: The New Deal HC
I regret taking my time on finally reading this book because damn if it wasn't one of the better comics to be published in the past seven years.
New Deals follows a cast of characters in Depression-era New York as their lives become entangled in this charming and well paced crime thriller. The story focuses on Frank and Theresa, workers in a fancy hotel just trying to get by as they navigate the class politics, desperate economic struggles, and racial tensions of the era. Toss on top of that a number of interesting new guests at the hotel and a series of mysterious thefts and you've got a really engaging caper tale with some light humor and a lot of heart.
Jonathan Case has such a great handle on the plotting, pacing, and scripting of the story that it's thoroughly engaging from start to finish. The real draw though is his super clean and fluid art with it's super crisp layouts and outstanding facial emoting. Every character is perfectly captured in their expressions, helping to enhance that fluidity of storytelling by communicating a ton in a single smile or snarky side glance.
The package comes in a handsome hardcover edition that clocks in at 112 pages for $16.99. I might normally complain about that price point for a relatively quick story, but the story doesn't read quickly (it's also not a slog either) and it such a nice package that it compliments the story nicely. I wouldn't have wanted to seen the art shrunken down, and while a softcover would have been fine the HC just gives it a sense of additional prestige on top of the inherent quality of the book.
If you're in the mood for a sassy crime tale with incredibly likable characters that doesn't veer away from the ugliness of the era either then I heartily recommend checking this out. I already really liked Case's style but now I'm full in on all his work now, and if this doesn't make you a fan then I'm not sure what will.