Fogtown by Andersen Gabrych


A gritty, graphic pulp fiction about the temptation, damnation and redemption of Frank Grissel, an aging, hard-knuckled private eye--and a deeply closeted homosexual, set in the very real world of 1953 San Francisco. Aided by his long-suffering secretary (and sometime live-in lover) Loretta, Grissel's search for a runaway girl winds up with him becoming a suspect in a string of gruesome murders. The case takes twists and turns through the Golden...

Details Fogtown

Release DateAug 10th, 2010
GenreSequential Art, Graphic Novels, Comics, Mystery, Noir, Crime, LGBT, Historical, Historical Fiction, Fiction, GLBT, Queer, Graphic Novels Comics

Reviews Fogtown

  • Josh
    Fogtown is a hard boiled graphic novel, heavy with genre troupes. The art matches the tone; dark inks in black and white, femme fatales drawn with a sexy and dangerous intensity which ooze sensuality, and a protagonist of the muscle bound, chiseled jaw stereotype. Like the story, any notion of shades of grey is an abstract concept.The 1953 period setting in San Francisco plays to a post WWII era backdrop as eviscerated prostitutes, shady men hidi...
  • David Schaafsma
    Hang with this one. You might be bored and offended by the first thirty pages, but let me just say there are some surprises. The art looks flat and pulpish, but hey this is pulp, and commentary on pulp, really, so finally you can't complain about that too much, really, as it fits.
  • Kasandra
    The art's great, but the story is totally unbelievable, full of too many coincidences even for a crappy pulp novel, which is what this is. In addition, even though this is presented as a "classic" noiry type of private-dick story, the level of misogyny and homophobia evidenced here really turned me off. Disappointing.
  • Jon(athan) Nakapalau
    1953: San Francisco - a down and out private eye - a great read for a foggy night.
  • Jonathan Maas
    Even for the uniformly exceptional Vertigo Crime series, this one stands out The Vertigo Crime series is incredible - par for the course there means an incredible tale worthy of five stars.But this one is a bit better than par.It is the absolute noirest of noir tales, until it takes a turn or two that takes it to the next level.Just incredible - whether you are a fan of Vertigo, Graphic Novels, noir or not - I'd check this one out.
  • Berry
    Set in 1950s San Fran, this Vertigo Crime graphic novel "Fogtown" is a pulp tale about a hard-boiled, dick-loving dick. And it's nearly fantastic. The plot and most everything else is pretty straightforward noir fare; what makes "Fogtown" atypical is its progressive and honest approach to sexuality. Specifically, the sexuality of the main character. Gabrych's take on the gay man (albeit closeted, mostly) is admirable and hopefully we see a lot of...
  • Stabbing
    This is the second book I've picked up from the Vertigo Crime imprint and I think it will probably be my last. I try not to give spoilers in my reviews so what should I say about this? A lot of it was very cliché. All of the most overused tropes are dragged out and combined with strange LGBT themes. I was left with a rather ambiguous idea of whether the author was trying to say that homosexuality is a perversion or not. On the surface he seemed ...
  • Sean Carlin
    A fairly conventional hardboiled whodunit... with a compelling conceptual twist: What if grizzled gumshoe Sam Spade had been a closeted homosexual? I'm sure that's the sort of pitch that got this project sold.Some here on Goodreads have criticized Fogtown for being a derivative grab-bag of detective-story clichés, but it's Gabrych's very fidelity to the genre's shopworn tropes that gives his single narrative innovation -- a gay tough-guy P.I. --...
  • Ashkin Ayub
    Fogtown is an amazing piece of literature, not only by graphic novel standards but also by literary standards. This graphic novel follows Frank Grissel, a hardened detective who makes his living solving crimes and charming the ladies. However, he has more than a few secrets locked in his closet ! The novel features all the characters you would expect from a noir - the private dick, pimps, shipyard owners, the city's grit, sordid sexual underbelly...
  • Alex
    Nothing special. Incoherent plot that leaves the reader with loose ends, even by noir standards. Design was bad most of the time, with the main characters having a slightly different face from panel to panel and the almost complete absence of backgrounds made for a comic scetchy and empty. Even the attempt of drawing close-ups that pay homage to the hollywood crime movies of the '50s didn't come out good (pg. 100 & 121 for example).Wouldn't say i...
  • Lisa Hechesky
    I found this book at my local library while searching for graphic novels done in the film noir style. At first, I was happy to see this story, the hard-boiled detective and all of the trappings.However, as many others have noted, the plot is weak and convoluted. Filled with every genre cliche. While I'm not adverse to swearing or sex in stories, the crass and vulgarity of story just seemed out of place. It was almost cursing for cursing sake. The...
  • Quentin Wallace
    I love hard boiled crime stories, but this one just didn't appeal to me. The story seemed to spin it's wheels, and seemed almost like a parody of the genre. The artwork wasn't very impressive either. So far the Vertigo Crime imprint, which I thought I'd love, has been a bit of a mixed bag. This is my least favorite of the imprint I've read so far.
  • Eli Bishop
    A comic that's a really dark private-eye story set in San Francisco and that pushes back against the straight macho sexuality of Mickey Spillane... would be a good idea. This isn't the way to do it. This is just clunky, ineptly lurid and embarrassing.
  • Robert
    Went in blind based on the rep of the publisher - an excellently twisted take on detective noir.
  • Judah
    Decent art, but the plot feels a bit mangled and far fetched. The twists feel a little belabored, as if a long narrative was sandwiched into a shorter one.
  • Michael
    interesting. weird. rating is probably 2 3/4 stars, but oh well...
  • Michael
    Another Vertigo crime book, another predictably "noir" protagonist and another series of reveals that strain credulity.
  • Bruce Dixon
    I really enjoyed this for the most part. The shocking portion of the piece didn't really do it for me, though. The art was great and fit the bill perfectly.
  • Natalia Rox
    I am not really enjoying this book. I intend on finishing it to hopefully be proved wrong. I am from San Francisco and have recently been burning through graphic novels so finding this story at my local library was a perfect match. I began reading this and was disappointed that the supporting characters had so much more depth than the main character. He is wandering through this story completely oblivious to anything around him including his own ...
  • Gayle Francis Moffet
    2017: The first thirty pages were much easier to take, knowing how the story goes, and those layers are still there and build to a great finish. It's a hard, uncomfortable story at times, but it's worth it. I hated this book for about the first thirty pages. It was everything I've had issue with regarding the whole Vertigo Crime line. Why write pulp that doesn't do anything with the genre? Why recreate the genre as though nothing's changed in the...
  • Trixie Fontaine
    Tell me if this is unbelievable: I picked this book up off of a church's exchange shelf (a very liberal & progressive church, obviously) AND it's the first graphic novel I've ever read.I really enjoyed it -- love stuff set in San Francisco, so having something fast between a regular book and a movie with visuals was perfect. I wasn't blown away by the art, but I don't really have a lot to compare it to / know where to set the bar for this kind of...
  • Sean
    Vertigo Crime has been an interesting imprint in the noir crime vein. Here, Andersen Gabrych and Brad Rader deliver a somewhat convoluted but intriguing book nonetheless. Taking place in San Francisco in early '50s a private investigator with plenty of secrets has to sort out who is telling the truth and what's right and wrong. The story is full of different degrees of evil and its hard to find someone who isn't morally bankrupt. Its gory and sad...
  • Skyqi
    Warning - Most readers will find this book extremely offensive. It has racial slurs, graphic violence and is politically incorrect on every level. If there is any way you can get past all that, there is a good story here. Frank Grissel is a hardened, cynical private investigator on the tough streets of 1950's San Francisco. He takes on a missing person case that leads him to the most dangerous suspects in the city. He finds murderous villians, co...
  • Ronald Koltnow
    The Vertigo Crime imprint was an attempt on the part of DC Comics to appeal to readers of Hard Case Crime and its ilk. They had some good authors and some great artists but the project never gelled. FOGTOWN is a prime example of what went wrong; it is an attempt to turn the Spillane tropes on their hard-boiled heads. The problem is that Spillane, despite his limitations, had verve, originality, and a clipped style. Slapping a dame of insulting a ...
  • Mel
    This is the first of the Vertigo crime series that I'd read and it was quite good. It tried to be fairly typical pulp/film noir style fiction with a grissley detective hired to find a missing girl. The detective, while repeatedly saying he was an alcoholic, didn't drink nearly as much as anyone in a Hammett novel. The art was ok, but I much prefer the more realistic and detailed art of the actual 40s and 50s. Despite that the story was quite good...
  • Erik
    Gabrych takes a cue from Raymond Chandler’s Phillip Marlowe and the City of Angels and spins a San Francisco version centered on the hard-boiled private dick Frank Grissel. As in all things crime noir, he includes many of the classic archetypes in the genre: the femme fatale, the corrupt businessman with a secret life, and plenty of sexual tension. However, Gabrych delivers some surprising twists that made this better than I originally thought....
  • Matimate
    I am very fond of the hard-boiled detectives and stories with interesting twists. This particular one has all the story which is as slimy as spit on snail and the typical macho detective who has more issues then lady Diana. Frank Grissel is a PI in San Francisco in the early 1950's. He is typical PI of the genre (womanizer, habitual drinker, and has disrespect for authority figures) but there is something which did not fit the cliché and this is...
  • Garrett
    If the closeted cousin of the movie Chinatown had a three-way baby with Max Allan Collins and Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer books, it would look like this, if it were a graphic novel. Every cliche has been dumped into this book and mixed with just enough two-fisted rye whiskey to lull you into thinking you know what's going to happen next, and then it jumps out from behind a shipping container and has back-alley sex with you. This book, part of D...
  • Pat
    An unusual book that left me in two minds.The art was good but a couple of times it came across as a bit cartoony but had good use of shadowing and identifiable characters.The story was serviceable and started well but felt it did not have enough space to fully tell the tale. I will also agree that some of the swearing just seemed too much and could have been omitted without affecting the story.In conclusion it was decent but could have been bett...
  • Blair Conrad
    I was about 140 pages in - probably would've been done in 15 minutes - and I realized that the book was too terrible to continue with. The pile of clichés studded with laughably bad "plot twists" had finally accumulated to the point where I was driven away. I might've been able to stand it if even one character had even one redeeming quality, or if the artwork wasn't horrible, but sadly 'twas not to be.