Bento Review: Tumor

I’ll give it to Oni Press…their books are never dull or ordinary.  The company’s work typically pushes the envelope in some way that makes for at least an interesting read.

And that brings me to the last “Legacies”-themed book from Comic Bento this month, a brilliant work called Tumor.

Tumor is the story of Frank Armstrong.  He’s a private detective working out of Los Angeles, the type who seems to be perpetually down on his luck.  As it is, he’s been diagnosed with a lethal brain tumor and doesn’t have long to live.  To make matters more interesting, Frank gets hired by a local drug lord to find the drug lord’s missing daughter.  Something about it isn’t right, but Frank agrees to do the job.

The something that isn’t right doesn’t change much over time.  Frank keeps blacking out, losing time, and flashing back to an earlier time period.  It’s not helped by the fact that the girl he’s looking for, Evelyn, bears a very strong resemblance to Frank’s late wife Rosa, herself the daughter of a drug lord.  Even after Frank finds Evelyn, he knows something isn’t right and needs to do something to make sure she’s OK, and that something has to do with Rosa’s death years before.

Writer Joshua Hale Fialkov has put together a dream-like work, something that bounces around in time while the reader stays inside Frank’s dying mind.  Noel Tuazon’s artwork adds a great deal to this world, something that looks somewhat realistic but can be a bit experimental when showing, for example, how Frank’s brain synapses are messing him up.  This may be the best book Comic Bento has sent me in a while, and they’re usually good for one or two books I really like every month.  Ten out of ten dirty cops who may not be that dirty.

NEXT MONTH:  That’s it for this month’s box.  Next month’s theme is “Beginnings,” which seems very appropriate for something that comes out in January.

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