From time to time, friends and acquaintances ask me what graphic novels they should be reading but haven’t heard about. I always throw out the classics; Watchmen, Dark Knight, Kingdom Come and the newer stuff; Fables, The Walking Dead, Y: the Last Man, 100 Bullets, etc. I rarely have a current selection that is easy for a new reader to get into and doesn’t have over eight volumes already on the shelf though. This week I read Rick Remender and Greg Tocchini’s The Last Days of American Crime and I will now be suggesting it to everyone I know. The graphic novel is a heist/ caper story set in an America that is about to lose its free will. More specifically, in two weeks the U.S. government plans to deploy a device that will stop Americans from committing crimes. The device apparently prevents citizens’ brains from acting on the impulse to commit a crime and thus will end all criminal activity. In these last two weeks of free will our heroes/ villains plan one last great score and soon things go terribly wrong. The graphic novel is gritty and realistic with wonderful characters and a neo-hardboiled sensibility. Greg Tocchini’s art is so breathtaking that I sometimes just stare at the pages dumbfounded. I don’t want to spoil too much of the plot, but if you like crime stories definitely read this book.
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