Matt Fraction and Elsa Charretier's November puts normal people in noir circumstances
Back in 2009, a police manhunt ended right in front of comic book writer Matt Fraction’s home — complete with cops, helicopters, and pointed guns. Fraction and his family were left to clean up the mess afterward. When they were playing outside a few days later, his wife (comic writer Kelly Sue DeConnick) found a loaded gun that had been left in the bushes. That experience inspired Fraction’s new graphic novel trilogy with artist Elsa Charretier. November follows three women who are caught up in a violent criminal situation beyond their understanding.
“One of them is a survivor, one of them is a good Samaritan, and the other is struggling against her own obsolescence,” Fraction tells EW ahead of this weekend’s San Diego Comic-Con. “It’s interesting to me what happens when you put regular folks in these crazy circumstances.”
The events of November kick off when one of those women finds a gun where it shouldn’t be. The story is told in nonlinear fashion, however. Fraction, who is perhaps best known for writing acclaimed comics like Marvel’s Hawkeye (with artist David Aja) and Image’s Sex Criminals (with artist Chip Zdarsky), calls November “the most formal piece of work I’ve ever done.”
“I don’t think I have a novel in me, but I have this,” he says. “All the tools and thoughts I’ve got about how comics work and what comics can do have gone into this.”
The first volume from Image Comics — which, naturally, hits stores this November — is a complex book that will require multiple reads (and two future installments) to fully untangle. Yet Fraction’s writing and Charretier’s art combine to create a beautiful, intriguing mystery. At one point, as you can see in the exclusive preview page below, two different conversations from different time periods are spliced together, so that it looks like one character is talking to his past self. What is the significance of this? You’ll have to read November to find out — and then flip back to the beginning and read it again.
“As a reader,” Charretier says, “I like a book that you have to think about, a book that raises questions and asks the reader to come up with some of the answers.”
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