A grifter and con man with a past only slightly murkier than his future returns to his native stomping grounds of Cleveland. Old friends are gone, turned sour, or worse, turned cop. Why exactly he's come back - and what he'll do when he finds out that his old girlfriend is pretty much running the town - is anybody's guess. Nightclubs and diners and flophouses, none of 'em any better lit then the other. The mall, which inexplicably serves as the nexus of all Cleveland criminal realities (the location will pop up again in Bendis' Jinx). Speech balloons take on their own character and carry the reader across the page, through endless pools of black and stark slashes of white on a runaway waltz as manic and unpredictable as the story itself. And the ending - sweet Jesus, you won't see it coming for a Texas mile.
Man, it all starts here. GOLDFISH is the first of Brian Michael Bendis' crime epics, and has the energy and vitality of a top-notch storyteller going full-bore without a whit of jaded and self-conscious restraint. It's noir comics done by a guy who's been waiting to do them his whole life, and manages to break a shitload of rules in the process. While it may not be as polished or refined as some of his later work, GOLDFISH makes up for its youth with a relentless vigor and zeal for the comics form.
Matt Fraction splits his time between motion graphics and design house MK12, writing comics, and reading comics. He is the author of the graphic novels The Annotated Mantooth and Last of the Independents, both available from AiT/Planet Lar. He can be found on the web at mattfraction.com. His wife is hot.