Review: Crab Queen (OGN)

I kind of thought going into this book that I would like it… turns out I was wrong. I wasn’t personally a fan of the story, but based on our scale for books it hits just below average. The art is decent, not great, but decent. Maybe if the art was fantastic it could have save the story some, but as it is this book is not that good. It’s a shame because it’s Jimmy Palmiotti writing on his own and that’s something I would like to see more of. I just hope that he doesn’t incorporate so many degrading moments for his characters in the future. I’m probably going to venture into spoiler territory now so guard your eyes if you’d like to check this book out still.

I can literally sum up the entire sixty page story into one paragraph. Woman cheating on her fiancé has a last fling with her lover who is cool with her getting married. Then on her wedding night, the woman her husband was cheating on her with gets into a car accident and dies. Woman goes to work and bad mouths her boss on the phone after thinking she’s switched calls. Boss is gay and goes down on her as punishment for her bad behavior. Woman goes on honeymoon and her husband throws her overboard. Woman doesn’t die, but rather washes to shore with giant crab hands. There are literally like three more scenes left for the book. But all of the scenes follow this simple format of something happens to the woman and then she does the bare minimum to get by. There is also a huge plot hole added in the middle of the story

QueenCrabIt’s not good. A lot of the story is narration and really I was left wondering what the point of everything was? Why did I need to know the story of this woman who is both stuck in terrible situations of her own creation and then also put in completely unrealistic situations at the same time? Sadly, I’m not referring to the crab hands since suspension of disbelief takes care of that one. No, I’m referring to the scene with her boss and her husband.

The boss in particular was troubling. She’s trash talking her boss on the phone… five feet away from her in their office. Then after transferring a call doesn’t check to make sure her friend is on the line again before trash talking again. As someone who has worked in a very small office I’m forced to believe that either she is the dumbest person in the world, or that she wants her boss to sexually harass her. The worst part is the justification of medical benefits as reasoning behind her allowing it to happen to her. She just got married to a rich guy… I think she can get by on his benefits. I wouldn't usually go all "real world" nit-picky on a story, but this one makes it a point to ground itself in the real world with other trivial details which just opens the door for it.

The writing was very weak in general throughout the issue. It didn’t feel like a comprehensive story, but rather a lot of back story for a five-page payoff at the end of the book. Additionally, the narration is just too much. We get practically every thought that the character has and it doesn’t make her likeable or quirky, but rather dumb and annoying. All of the characters are pretty crummy in the book which gives you even less reason to care about any of them. The two exceptions are barely in the story and do nothing to actually help the main character which again makes them crummy.

The art is decent. It’s not great and it lacks a lot of detail. The cover is misleading as you’re given the impression that the art inside will be half as good or at least trying to keep the same style… but it doesn’t. It’s a complete 180 and probably the biggest reason I have for interior artist doing their own cover art. You wouldn’t buy a cover drawn by Jack Kirby and then interior art done by Mrs. Johnson’s third grade class, so why should you settle any other time. The interior is still decent, but it’s such a sharp contrast to the cover that it makes it difficult to swallow. Add in the fact that so many chances at adding simple details are missed and it quickly becomes a disappointment.

I hate to beat up on this book and originally I was going to skip the review altogether, but it kept sticking out to me. It has a talented writer, a capable artist and is the very definition of an independent comic. Hell, it was even funded on Kickstarter. I really wanted to like this book and we even had the banner on our site for a month. After reading the book though I decided I couldn’t promote a product I didn’t believe in and took it down. I think that should tell you all you need to know about this book.

Score: 2/5

Writer: Jimmy Palmoitti Artist: Artiz Eiguren Cover: Sas Christian Publisher: Image Comics Release Date: 2/29/12