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Graphic Novel Review: The New Deal

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The New Deal By Jonathon Case

What a lovely little story.

Ostensibly a heist story, Jonathon Case’s The New Deal is, beyond that, a fable about inequality (racial, social, and economic), love, and hope in the most infamous period of American disparity: the great depression.

Centered on Frank and Theresa, a scheming bellhop and actor/maid respectively, The New Deal examines their dreams and what they’ll do to get them. Frank will generally get into any given racket if there’s a buck in it, often befuddling his way into getting caught. Theresa on the other hand, is trying to make an honest way of it, something made all the harder by the color of her skin. They both work together in a fancy hotel, where the few rich live large and go about their lives as if nothing was changing in their world.

This disparity, and the caper that eventually becomes the central mover of the story, is beautifully rendered by Case. The clear, classically styled line work he put to such great use in stories such as The Creep, and The Green River Killer, is in full fruition with this one; where his previous work was very much a study in darkness, The New Deal is a light, fun caper.

A blast from the past, both in the text and pencils, The New Deal is some good, solid work for comic fans of all types.

-Eric Bryan

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