Clan Munro: McTavish Blog No. 4: Murder by Matilda! With pictures!

I am back, people!  It’s been a long time since my last blog because I’ve been drawing my little paws off.  All for nothing, as it turns out …

I begin by presenting a totally unbiased review of that rat Matilda’s first novel: “Death Walks into a Bar.”  I almost liked the book on first reading.  At least the parts where I could stay awake.  But one major thing was missing — pictures!  And who is better at drawing than me?  So I approached Matilda with the idea that I turn her book into a graphic novel.  I even produced some panels on spec to strut my stuff, with lovely artwork and much-improved dialogue.  But don’t just take my word for it.  Check out this beauty:

Blog 04 panel 1Well … Matilda poo-pooed both my pictures and dialogue using vulgar terms like “crap” and “total shite” that I will not repeat here.  But I could if I wanted to.

Thus I had no choice but to re-evaluate her novel and admit that I had made a mistake.  With my eyes opened to the truth I realized that her book was crap and total shite.  What was I thinking?

So I guess it’s a mystery novel.  Or maybe a fantasy.  It certainly qualifies as horror.  Starting with the writing style.  I hereby proclaim Matilda to be the Queen of Sentence Fragments.  She can’t write.  A complete sentence.  To save.  Her life.

Let’s try to make sense of the plot.  We’re on the sleazy Vancouver waterfront in 1952.  An ex-cop named Eric buys a tavern and runs a detective agency out of the top floor.  Are we talking original or what?   Eric hires wannabe sleuth and geek girl Penny Pendry and her Irish Wolfhound sidekick Percy!  A dog!  Let the drooling commence!

Penny agrees to learn the detective business while slinging beer in the pub part-time.  Her first gumshoe gig is a steward on a Trans-Pacific liner who disappeared overboard.  The cops ruled it a suicide but his wife is sure it’s murder and wants our heroes to investigate.  Did I mention something about originality?

So after a lot of chasing around dark alleyways and sneaking into scary abandoned hotels, Penny and Eric discover that … wait for it … the liner’s captain and his evil mad scientist university professor parapsychologist brother are behind oodles of disappearances.  Our heroes get tangled up in séances, ghosts and sentence fragments.  And then it gets even more improbable, as you can see in my interpretation of a “climactic” scene:

Blog 04 panel 2

If I’m making it sound exciting, well, don’t get your hopes up.  And there’s even more bad news.  The same chumps are actually publishing a second Matilda novel.  I accidentally sneakily logged on to her computer and chanced to discover that it’s called “You Only Die Once — If You do it Right.”  Soon coming to the bargain bin of a bookstore near YOU.

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