Title: Did You Hear What Eddie Gein Done?
Author(s): Harold Schechter, Eric Powell
Illustrator: Eric Powell
Genre: Non-Fiction Graphic Novel/ True Crime
Number of Pages: 224
I’m somewhat skeptical of popular culture’s fascination with serial killers, mass shooters and their ilk but I have to admit I have my share of morbid curiosity. Regardless of your feelings about the genre of true crime, Did You Hear What Eddie Gein Done? is a harrowing and incredibly well-made graphic novel.
It tells the insane story of Ed Gein, a deranged murderer and possible necrophile who robbed graves and killed two older women, keeping their bodies in his home and mutilating them to make skin costumes and furniture.
Gein inspired characters like Norman Bates, Leatherface, and Buffalo Bill (from The Silence of the Lambs) and was the ultimate Oedipal case, idolizing his religiously fanatical and abusive mother. The artwork in this book is amazing, I wouldn’t call it ‘beautiful’ considering the subject matter, but it just has so much detail and brings this man’s sad, sick existence to life.
It lets you feel a little bit of pity for Gein (especially as a sad, lonely kid) while never once sympathizing with him or his disgusting actions. It was insane how this man (with an IQ on the low end of average) got away with the things he did. I almost felt like his neighbors and acquaintances should have been charged for negligence for their sheer stupidity. I mean, how many red flags do you need?
Some of the illustrations in this book truly disturbed me (and I’m not easily disturbed) as they unflinchingly portray Gein’s actions toward his victims and the people he dug up. This book was better than My Friend Dahmer, easily. I highly recommend it to people who are up for digging into such unsettling thematic material.