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Book Review < Back


Credits: Written and Illustrated by Dave Cooper
Publisher: Fantagraphics Books


I don't think Dave Cooper understands women. Not that I do either, or that any man does more than another, but really - I don't think Dave Cooper understands women. Beyond that, and perhaps even more perplexing to the guy is that I don't think Dave Cooper understands why he doesn't understand women, and why that doesn't scare him away. Much of Cooper's collected work to date (CRUMPLE; Suckle; to a lesser extent Dan and Larry) revolves around women as sources of mystery, confusion, fear, sometimes of horrible violence, and almost always of sexual obsession. Women are as vexed as they are vexing; women are secretive and powerful; women are lumpy and curvy; women are seductively fuckable and viciously aware of their sexuality. Cooper's male protagonists - queer little guys with big heads and really thin necks - tend to be equally at a loss to understand both the objects of their obsession and their obsession in and of itself.

Knuckle, our little guy with big head and really thin neck du jour, works on an assembly line. He kinda-sorta cares after his grandmother. His girlfriend, having passed through an occult-ish rite of passage known only to other women, leaves him. He and his dipshit pal set out for Hollywood where the girls aren't so uptight. And then things happen in holes.

CRUMPLE is mutant porn for messy rape-o freaks and a weird science-fiction horror love letter apology to all women, everywhere. It's about a guy that's freaked out by women and yet compulsively drawn to them, no matter how many times they beat the shit out of him. See, Knuckle's not such a bad guy - he's just a guy.

-- Matt Fraction

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.


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