- Publisher: Dark Horse Comics,U.S.
- Format: Paperback | 136 pages
- Dimensions: 165mm x 254mm x 8mm | 295g
- Publication date: 26 January 2010
- Publication City/Country: Milwaukie
- ISBN 10: 1595823700
- ISBN 13: 9781595823700
- Illustrations note: chiefly Illustrations
- Sales rank: 543,241
In the dark tradition of Los Angeles noir, The Cleaners is the story of a ragtag team of for-hire trauma-scene cleaners led by ex-surgeon Robert Bellarmine. Contracted with sanitizing some of the nastiest crime and accident scenes in the tri-county L.A. basin, the team battles against what could only be described as the grim, unknowable face of the supernatural. But by focusing on the scientific explanation, no matter how aberrant or extraordinary, they counteract centuries-old superstition to prove things are seldom what they seem... In Absent Bodies, Bellarmine and his crew take on a series of gruesome tasks starting with a bloodbath that covers an entire neighborhood. This investigation leads them toward uncovering a disturbing mystery involving missing people -- mostly children -- which dates back longer than the history of the city itself.
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By 365 Graphic Novels 03 May 2012
This is an absolutely astounding read from a team I was not aware of. The story concerns a man who cleans up crime scenes. That's not a euphemism, he actually mops blood and viscera off the walls post police investigation. Why? Well it gives him a chance to do some investigating of his own particularly if the case is of the unusual or unexplained variety. He along with his friends and associates poke their noses where the police fail to.
It is an interesting premise that works well. The author was either a doctor or CSI technician or is the king of research as everything feels absolutely authentic. As well as a cracking plot you get to learn a lot about forensics, medicine and decontamination but in an interesting and engaging way that does not hijack the flow.
The art is breathtaking with superb colour pallets. While this doesn't look like a polished big budget title the art is lovingly painted and not rushed or skimped on. The layout is unusual as throughout the piece there are random frames that cut away from where you are now to somewhere else. These are little flashes of somewhere or some-when that allow you to put together the clues to figure out what is going on in a race with the hero. It is distracting at first but really rewards a patient and thoughtful reader. This isn't mindless escapism this is a taught thriller.
It is so refreshing to find something that departs from its peers and tells a story on its own terms. I really hope to see more and have no hesitation in giving this the Double Thumbs Up!