Bury the Lede
Paperback | Kindle/comiXology
Written by Gaby Dunn
Illustrated by Claire Roe with Miquel Muerto
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Release date: October 8, 2019
In Bury the Lede, Madison Jackson is an intern with the Lede, the top newspaper in Boston struggling to garner the attention she needs to turn her internship into a coveted full-time reporting gig. So when she’s invited along to the scene of a homicide with fellow Lede reporter Lexington “Lexi” Ford, she sees this as her opportunity and jumps at it.
The case revolves around the murder of a high-powered Boston man and his son by his socialite wife Dahlia Kennedy. Behind bars, no one has managed to get her to talk. So, on a desperate whim, Lexi sends in Madison… and the gamble pays off… the alleged murderess is now talking, but not necessarily the story that Kennedy and Lexi were expecting. To make matters even more complicated, Dahlia will now only talk to Madison, making the young intern a focal point of the investigation as opposed to the person reporting it, a position reporters never want to be in at any point.
I love well-crafted murder mysteries. I love visual storytelling. That said, this graphic novel checks off both boxes for me. The characters are so real, they’re tangible. I’m pretty certain, having come from a background where I worked with journalists, that I’ve met some of these types of people in real life. Writer Gaby Dunn‘s own history with the Boston Globe only enhances the genuine nature of her characters. I also found myself casting actors in each of the lead roles because I’m fairly certain this will be picked up for adaptation if it hasn’t been already.
The narrative clips along at a quick pace with little to no wasted panels at all. Even the side story of Madison’s relationships, both personal and professional, is woven into the fabric so as to allow a pretty seamless transition between the two stories. As for the plot, I actually re-read it three times before tackling this review. Not for a lack of understanding, mind you, but more because I found myself discovering an overlooked nuance to the tale each time and I wanted to ensure that I caught it all before I tried writing about it. I’m still likely to read it a few more times before I try to convince my non-comic-book-reading wife to check it out just because it’s that good and that quick a read. As for my wife, this story is right up her alley, graphic novel or not.
Thankfully, this was only ever released as a full-arc graphic novel and never as individual issues because that would have driven me absolutely insane. I cannot imagine where you could naturally cut the story for a pause between issues that wouldn’t have just absolutely gutted me as a reader and the month or so of anticipation between issues would have been more than I could’ve handled.
I also hope the ending is indicative of a potential follow-up story. While the THR has stated that this is the first book in a line of adult graphic novels from BOOM! Studios, I’m unsure if there will be another from Gaby Dunn and crew or if any of them will feature Madison Jackson. I sincerely hope they will, though. There is so much promise here.
From the publisher:
Cub reporter Madison Jackson is young, scrappy, and hungry to prove that she deserves her coveted college internship at the premiere newspaper in town, The Boston Lede where she fetches coffee for the night crew and dreams of her own byline. So when her police scanner mentions a brutal murder tied to a prominent Boston family, Madison races to the crime scene, looking for the scoop of the century.
What she finds instead is the woman who’ll change her life forever: Dahlia Kennedy, celebrity socialite, now widow, covered in gore and the prime suspect in the murder of her husband and child. When Dahlia refuses to talk to anyone but Madison, they begin a dangerous game of cat and mouse that leads the young journalist down a twisted path.
From Gaby Dunn (Bad with Money, I Hate Everyone But You) and Claire Roe (Batgirl and the Birds of Prey, Welcome Back) comes an all new original graphic novel about the thrill of the chase and the dangers of going toe-to-toe with a potential killer.