The Mystery of Mary Rogers
by Rick Geary
(NBM, 2001)

I love discovering great new things. Something that, upon finding it for the first time, a person muses, "Where has this been? I didn't know about this!" That's what happened to me when I first read Rick Geary's amazing work, The Mystery of Mary Rogers. One of four true-crime stories of the last century presented in sequential art form by Geary, Mary Rogers is a breathtaking example of what can be achieved in this art form.

A beautiful, and well-admired young lady, Mary Rogers' death has remained a mystery since the sunny, summer day of July 28, 1941, when her body was found floating in the Hudson River.

From the moment of discovery, numerous accusations and scenarios made their way through various New York "news" publications, as well as the public mind, until the case was officially closed early the next year. Suspected of possible foul play were potential suitors, rowdy street gangs, even an unknown doctor, who, it was suspected, may have possibly botched an abortion. Well-known writer Edgar Allan Poe was even "dragged" into the mix, as he was also an acquaintance of Mary's.

This story proves the statement that real life is sometimes more intriguing than fiction.

Geary does a wonderful job of telling this story in narrative form. As it is a true account, there is not much "creation" of a storyline to laud over, but there is much to be said of his artwork. Geary's art, though simple, is expressive and vibrant. The black-and-white panels are not muddled, due mostly to his clear line work. Characters communicate volumes, even without the word balloons which normally accompany them in comic books.

This is a truly fine volume, and highly recommended. Geary's other true crime stories in this collection include Jack the Ripper, The Borden Tragedy and The Fatal Bullet.

- Rambles
written by Mark Allen
published 31 May 2003

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