Dick Shamus
Created by Jon Hammer

"Most of the time, sleuthing is not the most rewarding work. However, being a drug addict has its charms."
-- Dick muses on his life

Not for the easily depressed.

One of the funniest, saddest, bizarre graphic novels I've read was Jon Hammer's The Drowned Girl. His hero, DICK SHAMUS, is your typical drug-addled, paranoid New York street person, dropping pearls of wisdom wherever he goes, convinced he's a private detective working on a case involving a Nazi fifth column of terrorists bent on world domination. He also believes AIDS is a CIA plot and that breakfast cereal has morphine in it.

But then, doesn't everyone?

He's prone to hallucinations, talking to himself and thinking out loud. His drink of choice seems to be chocolate Hoo-Hah and formaldehyde. He's also partial to methadone, lithium and Old Overcoat. But he actually does discover a drowned girl floating in the river, so is he crazy, or are we?

A strange, oddly-compelling read, cynical and funny, in an "End of the World As We Know It And I Feel Fine" kinda vibe, illustrated with a series of paintings that look like a series of dry runs for Munch's "The Scream."

Highly recommended. If you can handle it...

QUOTES

  • "So this is the way Sam Spade gets a lead. So what? Somebody always slips the detective a mickey finn. What's the difference if I do it myself?"

  • "Living in the city you face a thousand mysteries every day. No one solves them all. The trick is to know which ones to figure out and which ones aren't worth your time."

  • "It was hard to remember what New York was about this week. I was having a tough time remembering what I was about this week."

  • "I followed them. If he knew I was on a case, he knew who my client was. I wanted to know, too."

  • "My head was ringing like your neighbour's car alarm."

  • "Sure, this guy's got to eat, but why do I have to eat shit? It's a question every New Yorker asks eight million times each day."

  • "The booze was beginning to do its job. When would I get to do mine?"

GRAPHIC NOVEL

  • THE DROWNED GIRL...Buy this book
    (1990, Pirahna Press/DC Comics)
    Written and drawn by Jon Hammer

Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.


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"And I'll tell you right out that I'm a man who likes talking to a man that likes to talk."