6.14.2011

The Poor Old Collyer Boys

From The Wikipedia List of Unusual Deaths: The Collyer Brothers (Self-Published by Emi Gennis): Gennis chronicles the sad tale of two white brothers living in a Harlem brownstone in the early 1900’s. They pursue different careers, but eventually become shut-ins as the neighborhood changes around them. They become increasingly reclusive and withdrawn, while mystery swirls around their activities. Local legend begins to suggest there are riches inside that house, little does society know that at least one is likely a schizophrenic hoarder, while the other suffers an unfortunate stroke that blinds him. For one reason or another, be it fascination, jealousy, paranoia, greed, envy, the list is endless really, people complain and the cops come to investigate. After 19 days of digging in a Winchester Mystery House type of self-imposed exile, and the removal of 103 tons of junk, the police discover both brothers dead, just 8 feet from each other. It's proof that truth is always stranger than fiction, and it's a deeply engaging tale to stage a mini-comic around. Gennis leaves us with a haunting final image that, and this will be an oblique reference, reminds me of a piece drawn by a female artist with the handle “Line-O,” last seen with a highly detailed piece in the Boston Comics Roundtable offering Inbound 5: The Food Issue. That’s the second time with as many Gennis books that I’ve mentioned The Boston Comics Roundtable, so maybe there’s a potential new group of collaborators there. Grade A.
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