I got this book at the Franklin Institute in December when I went there for the CSI Experience tour, which was amazing by the way! I wish I could tell you that it was still at the Institute, but I believe the exhibit closed in January. It was a lot of fun acting like a CSI worker on a homicide case. You got to examine the crime scene, analyze evidence, go to the morgue and figure out who committed the crime.
But anyway, back to the book. The book is a graphic novel that has three books in one. The three titles are “Serial”, “Bad Rap”, and “Demon House”, which all stick closely to what a typical CSI episode plotline is. “Serial” is about a Jack the Ripper copycat who just happens to be committing the murders during a Jack the Ripper convention. “Bad Rap” is exactly what it sounds like: rappers who aren’t necessarily talented who have a feud and then one ends up dead. “Demon House” is about those haunted houses Christian churches do where they set up creepy scenarios of kids sinning and being sent to hell. Pretty creepy stuff, up until one of the actors actually gets killed by a prop gun. Then it’s terrifying. The animation for the series is pretty simple, there’s not too much detail within the panels. The one thing I really liked about the novels was that they incorporated the flashback type frames when, in the show, CSI’s are explaining what they think happened or Doc Robbins is explaining some complex medical jargon. There would be a page of panels devoted to capturing that feeling of a flashback, and it’s drawn in a blurry, scratchy way to differentiate present actions and flashbacks. I wasn’t expecting this amazing amount of artwork to be done for the book, but after you read something like Dropsie Avenue by Will Eisner, you start to notice the lack of details in other graphic novels.
The stories were all pretty interesting. Each story is independent of the series which is great because you don’t have to read them at specific times or have any specific background knowledge of the show. If you’re strictly interested in the cases, then these are excellent compendiums to the series.