Snapshot: we’ve heard all the rave reviews already. Diggle and Jock strike again with a wildly innovative story of Jake Dobson, who on finding a cell phone containing evidence of a murder on his way home finds his life immediately overturned and those closest to him in grave danger. The arts cinematic flares in panel layout and motion are deftly housed within a modern noir tale steeped in style and tone.
It’s the latter I’d like to talk about today. Yeah, we could discuss how the minimalist backgrounds and heavily shadowed black and white layout sets a surprisingly stylized feel for something so refreshingly simple. We could talk of how utilizing modern tech puts an ingenious twist on the classic mystery motif. However, I propose that Snapshot‘s true genius lies in being perfectly grounded in the now. Five years in the future this technology will be obsolete and maybe the whole story rendered moot. Five years ago some of the mindsets of the characters would be very different and the narrative wouldn’t be playing out like it is. But we are here now in 2013, locked in a place of ever increasing class division, twenty-four hour news sources and self-imposed isolation. Crime does pay, because it can afford better corporately funded lawyers; in a battle of good vs. evil, evil might just have the upper hand as apathy passes for good these days.
Like it or not, this is the society we find ourselves in today and the one thru which our protagonist must navigate. These days it’s easy to be so withdrawn to not even be bothered to look up at a rally happening right outside of your door. Granted, most of our circumstances aren’t as involved or perilous as our hero shown above; but then again Jake Dobson is no hero. He’s just an ordinary working guy that found a cool tech toy on his ride home. He has no cause, fight, or desire to find one. He’s living his life day to day the best he can, and upon being confronted with a world of plots and schemes his initial conditioned reaction is to cooperate with the authorities and put this mess behind him. Even in the face of his best friend’s death, Jake just wants to throw it all away and hide.
We all fall into this rut from time to time. Life is hard enough without having to worry about percent-ers, white-collar sins and the world at large; right?
Inaction is what causes the innocent to become the guilty. “Evil prevails when good men do nothing.” We cannot consider ourselves righteous individuals just because we don’t commit evil deeds. Fortunately for Jake, his extraordinary circumstances force his path to cross with Callie Twain, an individual whose dedication to honest emotion and family might just be enough to shake him from his bedrock of day-to-day monotony. After an experience like this, the phrase “life as normal” just isn’t possible. I can’t recommend this book highly enough, for its not just a snapshot of an unintentional crime scene; but an all too finely-focused one of modern life.