Earlier this year, Titan Comics publisher the series Numbercruncher, by Si Spurrier and PJ Holden. It sunk. It didn’t help that it was a really, really bad format to publish the comic in. Serialised did not do it any favours. As a complete story, it relies on you remembering clearly previous scenes as new scenes gave them new interpretations. All-in-one is the only way to go with this book.
Because Numbercruncher does a great job with the feint, the misdirect, hiding the obvious in plain sight. With many seemingly unconnected scenes, it’s paints a picture of a figure, by showing us anything other than the figure in question, But at the end we can see the shape that has been left by systematically filling in the background. It’s negative space, as a narrative device and Numbercruncher fills it perfectly. And then we realise just what the hell was going on. If we’ve been paying attention. If we can remember the earliest pages as well as the last.
If you like Robert Heinlein‘s All You Zombies, if you liked Steven Moffat‘s Continuity Errors, if you’re a fan of Douglas Adams‘ Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency and if you just love it when a plan comes together, the Numbercruncher collection can be ordered here in the US, here in the UK, or found in your local comic or book shop in December. It could well make for an excellent Christmas gift for the kind of person who likes tight, interconnected stories, whether comics or otherwise. Holden’s art is rather accessible, a bit like Steve Parkhouse in that it’s cartoony where it needs to be, slice of life where it needs to be with excellent panel to panel storytelling. And with a comic like this, you need it.
What’s it about? Does that really matter? Go on, just trust me…
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