Red Handed: The Fine Art of Strange Crimes (First Second) | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Red Handed: The Fine Art of Strange Crimes

First Second

Jun 07, 2013 Matt Kindt Bookmark and Share

Matt Kindt’s done it again. This original graphic novel from the writer/artist/designer is refreshing in a similar manner to some of his other works, such as 3 Story and Super Spy. But while not nearly so heart-tugging as the former or quite so retro-cool as the latter, this pulpy look into a series of related crimes and the golden-boy detective who solves them is even more ambitious. And it fulfills that ambition.

Kindt interweaves a handful of stories concerning crimesmany of which have an artistic bent to themthat not only fill out the overall story bit by bit but also contain parables of a sort, and both individually and combined ask moral questions that may shake Detective Gould’s worldview once he puts them all together. Kindt’s writing is largely simple and subtle; with certain exceptions, he lets the art tell most of the story, masterfully employing his award-winning graphic design with his characteristically big-headed, impeccably outfitted cast of characters. Each episode is wholly satisfying, many filled with thought-provoking artistic flourishes, and as fine as each is, the sum of the parts is greater still. Dang good book. (

Author rating: 9/10

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Average reader rating: 7/10


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Iuliana Matei
May 29th 2019

On a general level, high art was a term used to describe the most aesthetically pleasing and challenging (in terms of production) arts, while low art was used to describe what was not challenging, aesthetically pleasing. If you are spending a lot of time in your house and you are also working from there, you can invest in functional fine art. High and low art are terms most contemporary art historians distance themselves from, as they don’t describe the skill or originality of the artist, but the opportunities afforded to them and the (usually bourgeois) tastes of those who patronized them.