Early Book Review: Archer Coe & The Thousand Natural Shocks by Jamie S. Rich, Dan Christensen

Archer Coe & The Thousand Natural Shocks by Jamie S. Rich and Dan Christensen is a graphic novel currently scheduled for release on June 10 2014. Archer Coe is a performing hypnotist with the stage name “The Mind's Arrow.” He also moonlights as a special consultant for the rich and powerful. His latest client is a woman who claims to know him, but whom he swears he's never met. Things take a strange turn when Coe's neighbor and then the woman's husband ends up dead. the police suspect Archer of not just killing him, but also of being a sinister killer nicknamed “The Zipper.” Archer has holes in his memory, and as little bits are revealed to him he wonders if he really does have blood on his hands.

Archer Coe is a mystery and a mind bending tale. The artwork and story compliment each other perfectly, in a complicated web of coincidences and deliberate action. I liked that Coe is a character that is initially very confident in himself and his abilities, but comes to doubt himself in several ways. The deceptions within the story are deep, and I would hate to ruin the unfolding by giving any big spoilers. So I will leave it with saying that the main players are all masters of mind games, simply using different methods and lures. I am interested in seeing more of Coe, and hope to see more of him in the future.

I would recommend Archer Coe & The Thousand Natural Shocks to adult readers that enjoy classic noir and mind bending mysteries and to readers that enjoy graphic novels that do not fit the mold. I love a book that makes me think, and that even when I have an idea of the outcome am surprised with the reveal or some level of the twist involved. while this is not the best graphic novel that I have explored, I was impressed with the character building and dept as well as the story.

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