Review: Bookhunter, by Shiga

Bookhunter was an excellent read, if it can be said that one merely ‘reads’ comic books. It engages you on a number of levels, and changed my mind about modern comics. It’s the story of Bay, library Marshall, who uses his keen intellect to solve the mystery of a stolen tome. Not just any old tome mind you; an incunabulum. The thief is caught in the end, using a combination of 1970’s library technology and clever punditry. The story seen as a whole is nothing unique; the appeal is couched in the unraveling of the mystery (as is so often the case with mysteries). The brown-hued illustration is sparse, and the humor is drier than a Southern California forest.

Aside from these qualities, it’s a fulfillment of a long-time librarian fantasy: dispensing justice to malfeasant patrons using crime labs and attack teams, instead fines and shushing. It’s also a rather interesting look into the public library past: the story is set in 1973, when records were slowly migrating from dusty stacks of cards into digital abodes.

Final assessment: you should read it online, right now:

Book Hunter – Full online text

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