The title of this one gives it all away. American Monsters 2: The Ted Bundy Story is exactly that, a concise telling of Bundy and his victims’ story. I went into this wondering if we were going to get a different point of view, like perhaps from the perspective of the victims or even a fictional rehash from the killer himself.
Alas, this was not to be. It is a pretty straightforward accounting of his crimes and punishment.
I’m all about indie comics and creator-owned books. I enjoy reading stories that people felt so passionate about that they had to self-publish or market them through a crowdfunding campaign. Unfortunately, this isn’t one of them. I don’t know what might have inspired Chris Brimacombe to put this comic together, there’s no forward or author’s note to tell us anything. I can tell you that he wrote and drew the entire thing; the only other person involved was Patrick J. Reilly (as the editor). I admire anyone who can bring their dreams to life, I just wish I knew what this story means to Chris. Maybe if I had more information, I might have gotten more from it.
The writing is simplistic and very uninspired; the dialogue seems forced and not at all authentic. Often when a writer uses a minimalist approach to a comic, it is because the artist is able to paint a broader picture with the sequential art, panel by panel. Sadly, this isn’t the case. The characters are wooden, with almost no facial expressions to speak of. And when there are obvious emotions in the art, they are akin to manga and anime in their overzealous pursuit to convey their meaning. Every person in the comic seems almost a parody of themselves; a caricature of the actual person they are meant to represent, if you will. And while many of the facts about his crimes are in the story, little to no background or follow-up is given. It feels disjointed and uninformative.
The only part of the comic that I feel like I can speak to positively takes place almost at the end of the book, the massacre at the Chi Omega sorority house. It’s not the writing or the art that stands out, it’s the way the panels are set into the backdrop. I found more emotion in the background splatters than in the story itself. Overall, the entire story was anticlimactic and meandered its way to the end scene.
I don’t want anyone to think I hated this comic; I actually don’t have enough interest in it to feel anything at all…and that saddens me. Seldom do I ever find a book about which I cannot find something positive to say about it in a review. But this is one of them. I hope to read something else from Chris in the future that makes me sit up and take notice, however, this is not the comic that is going to do it.
My advice here is that you pass on it. There is nothing here that will change your life or even hold your interest. Nothing against the creator, I just didn’t dig it. Not at all.