Before Brian Michael Bendis was the guy on everyone’s writer list, before he had numerous comics produced at once, and before he helped Ultimate Spider-Man take off in cartoon form on MTV, he wrote some of the best damned crime noir comics all by his lonesome. His art, a wonderfully harsh black and white, as if everyone was caught by an extreme flash bulb, is perfect, and his writing, steeped in noir tradition and a keen awareness of how people actually talk, harkens what we all know now was to come. Goldfish was the first of these hefty crime tomes. Goldfish is, in fact, a man — specifically, a con artist who’s returned to the city of his youth on a mission. Calling in old favors, he arrives to discover that the landscape has changed a bit more than he had realized. His best friend, a con like himself, is now a detective, and his ex-girlfriend is leading the city’s crime bosses. Despite the fish out of water feeling, Goldfish is determined to complete his task — a personal need that slowly comes into focus through all the fast talk and double-crossing. A tragedy right up there with the greats of the genre, Goldfish remains of the favorites on my shelf.

ISBN: 9781582401959
By Brian Michael Bendis
Image Comics 2001

  • Robin B.

    | She/Her Teen Librarian, Public Library of Brookline

    Editor in Chief

    Robin E. Brenner is Teen Librarian at the Brookline Public Library in Massachusetts. She has chaired the American Library Association Great Graphic Novels for Teens Selection List Committee, the Margaret A. Edwards Award Committee, and served on the Michael L. Printz Award Committee. She is currently the President of the Graphic Novels and Comics Round Table for ALA. She was a judge for the 2007 Eisner awards, helped judge the Boston Globe Horn Book Awards in 2011, and contributes to the Good Comics for Kids blog at School Library Journal. She regularly gives lectures and workshops on graphic novels, manga, and anime at comics conventions including New York and San Diego Comic-Con and at the American Library Association’s conferences. Her guide, Understanding Manga and Anime (Libraries Unlimited, 2007), was nominated for a 2008 Eisner Award.

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