119. Capote in Kansas by Ande Parks

Capote in Kansas by Ande Parks. Illustrated by Chris Samnee

Rating: (5/5)

(Kindle) - (US) - (Canada) - (UK)

2005; reprint Jul. 24, 2013, Oni Press, 128 pgs
Age: 18+

"Murder. Not intricately plotted "whodunit." Not fiery passionate fury. But dirty, sad, disturbing actions from real people. That's what Truman Capote decided to use for In Cold Blood—his bold experiment in the realm of the non-fiction "novel." Following in that legacy is Capote in Kansas, a fictionalized tale of Capote's time in Middle America researching his classic book. Capote's struggles with the town, the betrayal, and his own troubled past make this book a compelling portrait of one of the greatest literary talents of the 20th century.
A new edition of the critically acclaimed graphic novel by Ande Parks (LoneRanger) and Chris Samnee (Daredevil)."

Received an egalley for review from the publisher through NetGalley.

I really enjoyed this true crime biography of Capote's experience of entering a small town and how he dealt with writing his classic book "In Cold Blood".  I have not read the book but have seen the movie and am familiar with the crime through tele-documentaries.  After reading this GN, though, the book is now one of my must reads.  Andre Parks doesn't try to retell "In Cold Blood" here but rather he examines what it must have been like for Capote as a writer to gather together the material for this book.  And not just any writer's experience but Capote himself, who couldn't have been more alien in this "hick" town.  The author takes liberties and fiction is mixed with fact and he presumes what Capote may have felt emotionally.  An interesting aspect is the use of magical realism to portray one of the victims, Nancy Culler, as Capote's confidant during his time in Holcomb, Kansas, thus minimizing Harper Lee's true role.  I'm fairly certain that my knowledge, limited though it was, of this case enhanced my enjoyment of the book.  You don't have to have read Capote's book, but I would recommend knowledge of it and the case before reading this GN though, as it is assumed going in you know what is happening.  This is another example where b/w art is essential to the telling of the story.  Great art and I think colour would not have been as effective.  Good read for true crime fans but the "ghost" element may not be appreciated by all.