The Beast of Chicago: An Account of the Life and Crimes of Herman W. Mudgett, Known to the World As H.H. Holmes
H H Holmes scammed insurance companies to raise enough money to build his own hotel labelled by locals, "the castle". He hired different companies to build different parts of his hotel with the overall scheme of the building known only to ...more
So basically I already knew the story of Holmes but now in graphic novel form? Exciting! I sat down to read the story of the man and his grisly crimes. Indeed, the cri ...more
"[H.H.] Holmes is generally thought to be America's first serial killer. Rather, he was the first American to be caught and convicted for having committed multiple murders over a period of time. Surely others went before him whose crimes remain, as yet, unrecognized."—from author Rick Geary's introduction
The Beast of Chicago: An Account of the Life and Crimes of Herman W. Mudgett, Known to the World As H.H. Holmes is yet another in a line of excellent true-crime graphic novels by Rick Geary; in fact, it may well be the best I've read so far.
Most of what I've said about volumes in these lines that I've previously read applies here as well; however, what really stood out about The Beast of Chicago was the palpable tone of menace and dread throughout Geary's narrative; perhaps fitting for the subject matter—serial killer H.H. Holmes, a man whose murders were so chilling, particularly for the era in which they occurred (or, more accurately, were sensationalized), that they've made for multiple bestselling nonfiction narratives, more about which below—Geary's own narrative focuses less on the historical context of Holmes'/Mudgett's crimes as the crimes themselves. Geary (obviously) didn't have access to Erik Larson's award-winning The Devil in the White City, much less Adam Selzer's later H.H. Holmes, the latter of which perhaps definitively contextualizes the subject matter (as well as, apparently, strips the 19th-century narrative of much of the misinformation and sensationalism that surrounded the case heretofore), but the sources Geary does use seem to have been pretty much definitive insofar as Geary's narrative seems exhaustive vis-à-vis what information was available. It's also the more ancillary details in The Beast of Chicago that make the book so compelling, most notably among them the oblique references to the corruption that has continually plagued the city, as well as some basic information regarding the World Columbian Exhibition of 1893 that provided the means and opportunity for Holmes' spree.
Geary has carved out something of a niche for himself of nonfiction graphic narratives with simultaneously cartoonish and realistic artwork, as well as an inimitable narrative voice that excellently captures the context of the story, as well as the story itself. As I said above, The Beast of Chicago is, so far, the best of Geary's true-crime graphic novels I've read; as always, Geary provides an excellent, brief introduction to the subject matter—and provides the sources to delve further. A smashing book.
The graphic novel does do a very good job conveying the information ...more
Killers that do it for years with the insane motives that drive them interest me so much because I cannot even begin to understand how their minds work which make them far scarier than fiction could possibly achieve- no matter how twisted! I had known about Mudge from a documentary that included Carl Panzram- someone I wish Geary (or anybody near his talent) did a graphic novel on! His story is blurry from being s ...more
ComicsLit, 80 pages,
August 1st 2003
The Beast of Chicago was very interesting to read, it tells about how he grew up and of who he killed, where he did it, and how he did it. He was a very smart murderer and it surprised me how many people he deceived and tricked and for how long he did it. He was a strategic psychopath and was the best at what he did.
I really liked this book. I like the way its written, it tells you the main j ...more
I was familiar with the story of H.H. Holmes and his life of lies, infidelity, destruction, and death, however, I did learn even more from Geary's account. I can't say that I'm a huge fan of the artwork. ...more
Unfortunately this book has too many errors in historical knowledge for me to actually love this book. I would’ve liked the author to more thoroughly research his subject because some of the information is glaringly inaccurate for those who have studied Holmes and the Fair of 1893. If the facts had been correct my rating would’ve been higher. Again great concept, bad im ...more
I am familiar with this case and nothing much that I able to learn from this graphic nonfiction. However, the story about H.H.Holmes was presented in the simplest way that for someone who're new to this monster, they would able to follow.
The book takes place in Chicago. The point of view is 3rd person. The major characters are H.H Holmes. The central conflict is that H.H Holmes moves to Chicago and buys a apartment building from an old lady and turns it into a murder hotel. With various trap doors, secret hallways and holes in the floor big enough to fit a body into, H.H Holmes becomes America's first serial killer.
I think that the author did prove his point by listing all of the fact ...more
Kansas. He graduated from the University of Kansas in Lawrence, where his first cartoons were published in the University Daily Kansan. He worked as staff artist for two weekly papers in Wichita before moving to San Diego in 1975.
He began work in comics in 1977 and was for thirteen years a contributor to ...more