Comics/Graphic Novels

The Black Dahlia (2016) Graphic Novel Review


Maybe you saw the film, maybe you read the book or maybe like me you have a morbid curiosity that draws you in to the obscene and a need that makes you want to stare right at the void and see the worst that humanity can do. I’ts in that weird obsession that I came across the Black Dahlia case, I think it’s worth mentioning that I don’t find any joy in these cases, in fact this sort of thing disgusts me but fascinates me all the same, what can push a human to commit such a disturbing act, usually they themselves have been the victim of something dark, seedy and twisted  and they got swallowed up by the void.

Warning: There may be possible spoilers ahead.

BlackDahlia_HC_PRESS-18A little history to this notorious case might help bring some perspective on it, The Black Dahlia was a nickname given to Elizabeth Short, a wannabe actress who became the victim of an overly publicized murder in 1947. Short acquired the moniker posthumously from newspapers who had a habit of nicknaming the most grizzly crimes. The “Black Dahlia” nickname may have been derived from a film noir murder mystery, The Blue Dahlia, released in April, 1946. Short was found mutilated, her body sliced in half at the waist, on January 15, 1947, in Leimert Park, Los Angeles, California. Short’s unsolved murder has been the source of widespread speculation, leading to many suspects. To this day it’s still unsolved and that mixed with the particularly disturbing death that she was victim to has let this remain in the public mind as one of Hollywood’s most shocking moments and maybe the beginning of the end for the Golden age of Tinsel Town.


So how does this lead to a story? Well our book follows the case through the eyes of two ex boxers turned cops Bucky Bleichert and Lee Blanchard. They take up this case which soon becomes an obsession. An obsession which takes a dark turn as they delve into the underbelly of Hollywood and the heart of the dead woman’s tortured and twisted past. A case that will take everything they’ve got to get through.


The graphic novel is based on the original book written by James Ellroy and is part of his L.A.Quartet series that just so happens to include L.A.Confidential. If that is not enough to wet your literary appetite the adaptation is also brought to us by acclaimed director David Fincher, as in the guy that brought us Se7en, Fight Club, Gone Girl and Cold Hearted Lover by Paula Abdul. Further to this you have some fantastic art to look at it, at times it’s all bright lights and at others it’s dark and twisted like the story itself. This book is further reason why graphic novels are not just for kids, it’s mature, dark and a real gripping read, that does its source material more justice than the film ever did and helps keep alive the memory of someone that died all too young in an all too horrific manner.

The Black Dahlia graphic novel series will be released on 29th June and is available to pre-order on Amazon by clicking here.

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