Carla Speed McNeil — The Rescuers (re-read)
Comics. June 25.
Ruth just read this (I pushed a bunch of Finder on her after she enjoyed Dicebox), and talking with her made me really want to re-read it.
I can't remember what I said about it when I first read it, but this is very possibly the best book in the Finder series.
It might also be the worst jumping-on point. The whole point of Finder is that it's demanding and builds aggressively on prior context, but The Rescuers is on another level entirely. A new reader can understand what's going on if they pay attention, but I think the heart of the story is about how inevitable every shitty turn of events was. And that's the sort of thing you puzzle out afterwards, filling in blank after blank with what you remember from before.
The Rescuers is a tragedy, or maybe more like three to seven tragedies. It's about some events surrounding a botched kidnapping based loosely on the Lindbergh Baby case. There's no particular catharsis, and the story ends with a literal disintegration of the narrative: one endless page crumbling into ever smaller panels, fractally mimicking the failures of communication and connection that made any real resolution impossible.
It's bitter and cynical as hell, and unfailingly humane and generous as it breaks almost every character. Good fuckin' shit, easily the best dead baby comic of the aughts.