When I work a lot, I like to read comics. I am not talking about award-winning, deep, etc. graphic novels, like the one you can buy only in bookstores. I mean cheap comics, the one you can get for, say, less than 5 €, and you can find in any newsagent. I read those since they are for teens, or teen-spirited adults: linear stories, simple characters, some fantasy. They bring a relaxing breeze to my mind, which I highly appreciate when I have a lot of things going around my head because of work. Now, most of the ones I tried are not worth a second read – after I finished them, I found no meaning in peeking through them again.
Lately I found one that I like better. It has many characteristics that place it among “just another comics”: the nickname of the main character (which gives also name to the series) – Dr. Morgue – is quite classical, as his look (a huge, intimidating man, with a big scar from a cheek to the opposite eye) and his job (he is a forensic pathologist – the doctor that make autopsies). Some of the happenings (but not all) are a little predictable, or too bizarre to sound realistic (in the way a fairy tale is bizarre, not in the way Tarantino is). But it stands out for other features. The place where it is set is somehow non-trivial: Montreal. A vibrant, intriguing city, but definitely less posh than other locations, like New York or London. Then the main character himself: he’s an Asperger. Which basically means he has a light form of autism, which (unlike more serious ones) does not prevent him from learning everyday tasks, having a job, speaking. But he is totally unenmpathic, self-absorbed, highly focused on his work, uninterested in most distractions, very rough in social interactions. He has a highly personal, passionate relation with his job, accepting no intrusion in it. You can feel his simultaneous contempt for normality – with its oddness, banality, hypocrisy – and his longing for it. All this is depicted in a way that I find non-trivial: a sad smile after a harsh joke, a rage burst against some sneaky injustice other people are accustomed to, a prostitute he is constantly visiting only to watch tv together. I don’t know if those behaviours are compatible with the Asperger profile, but I find them all intense and realistic.
On the background, the comics attempts to describe a “philosophical” perspective on crime: I am not telling you about this (because it is revealed little by little throughout the series), but it reminds me of a short story by Robert Sheckley (also turned into a movie with Mastroianni), and has connections with this heinous event.
If you’re working a lot lately or you like comics (and you speak Italian), give it a try. And if you want to know more about Asperger, try Wikipedia or this or (in Italian) this, but please spare yourself the super-boring experience of watching this movie.