3 Story: The Secret History of the Giant Man

by on Nov.10, 2009, under Comics

3 story cover

Matt Kindt’s 3 Story tells three tales of a giant: the accounts of his mother, wife, and daughter. In childhood Craig Pressgang is normal-sized, but he keeps growing and growing until by his middle adulthood he’s three stories tall.

The mother’s story, the first one in the book, put me off a bit. I didn’t like the enforced simplicity, short sentences and sentence fragments broken across panels or by ellipses within panels. It struck me as an attempt to heighten the drama artificially. Also, the mother’s story was the most purely retrospective, and not, seemingly, very important to the whole.

With the wife’s story, though, the book started to grow on me (so to speak). There’s a lot more dialogue, which breaks up the repetitive short phrases, and a greater attention to the increasing problems of being huge, not just practical matters like how to get clothes or where to take a dump, but Craig’s progressively worsening disconnection from the world below him. This is presented not merely as an emotional detachment but also a physical one, as his nerves grow too long to carry sensation to his brain quickly. Eventually he can barely hear his loved ones even when they shout. He accidentally steps on a person and decides he needs to go away before he hurts his family.

In the third story the giant’s daughter, grown up now, tracks where he went after he left them. Here the narrative returns to the style I didn’t care for before, and again I’m not sure what is added to what we saw from the wife.

3 Story, then, is one pretty good story sandwiched between two lesser ones. The one in the middle takes up most of the book, so that’s okay.

The art matches the naive voice well, although I didn’t particularly love it  in its own right. There’s very little depth to any of the drawings, and the backgrounds are often washes of a single color.

Preview below the fold.

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