Comic Review: Queen Crab

Queen Crab
Written by Jimmy Palmiotti
Art by Artiz Eiguren
Image Comics
Release Date: March 14, 2012
Cover Price: $12.99

Queen Crab is insane on every possible level. I still can’t figure out if Jimmy Palmiotti is crazy for writing this book or if Image is even crazier for publishing it. Queen Crab has essentially no mainstream appeal. This is the kind of comic you would find in an art house publisher’s catalogue. There is very little violence and a storyline so bizarre, David Cronenberg would hesitate before adapting it to film. But regardless of the madness that this book packs, Queen Crab is a great piece of character work. Palmiotti has a real talent for crafting believable characters that live in the same dark and dismal world that we all must endure. Do not expect to find heroes in capes or anything blood soaked and action packed with this one. Instead, anticipate a deeply personal character study with one bat shit crazy twist.

Here is what I can tell you about Queen Crab without giving too much away. Ginger is a girl who has a profoundly sad existence. Her fiancé is in love with another woman and her job is meaningless. Have you ever met someone who is one flat tire away from total mental collapse? If you have, then you know Ginger. That is not to say that Palmiotti wrote a weak struggling female lead; in fact, he did the opposite. Ginger is one of the strongest female characters I have seen in a while. In a time when Catwoman is more preoccupied with bedding Batman than stealing jewels, it is wonderful to see an empowered woman in comics. Palmiotti pays much less detail to the supporting cast of Queen Crab and instead places a laser focus on Ginger. Queen Crab is a wonderful example of an author who has dedicated himself to the destruction and reassembly of one character.

The very talented Artiz Eiguren maintains a very controlled artistic presence throughout this comic. Queen Crab is a book that is very grounded in reality and the characters that shape it. That being said it is only fitting that the art gives very little in terms of fantastic violence or sensationalized character design.

Queen Crab is not a comic for everyone. Palmiotti and Eiguren created this story to reach deep inside of their readers. Every pain or horror that is presented in Queen Crab is disturbing based solely on the fact that they, on some level, could belong to any of us. If you feel like you are ready for that kind of reading experience, I say go for it. It’s one strange ride.

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