In this original story from Neil Gaiman and Michael Zulli, who have collaborated before on graphic novels, we see the story of Miss Finch and her enigmatic disappearance as recounted through the eyes and memories of those who witnessed it.
The tale begins with the narrator and his two friends, a couple, who wish him to join them and Miss Finch on a fun night out. The man grudgingly agrees and is surprised when he meets Miss Finch, who is a strange and unique looking woman, giving nothing of herself away except for her mysterious attire. They decide to go to this circus they’ve heard about, which is unlike anything ever done before. With a total of fifty people, they enter into the main room after finding the front door to the basement of a run down building. They are soon greeted to an introductory show of many strange creatures in many colors and looks. Everyone assumes them to be people in costumes, but they do look uncannily realistic.
They are then greeted by the man in charge who bears more than a striking resemblance to Alice Cooper, who guides them to the first of many rooms where bizarre events are taking place. There is the breathtaking knife throwing act; the Frankenstein-like creature with incredible strength; the room of black light creatures that again seem too real; and the room with the strange guillotine act. After taking a break at what seems like the end, the four members find themselves alone and enter into another room where they are greeted by darkness and then wild animals and a wild woman who looks familiar. Thinking they are about to die, the room turns to black and they leave the room only to find Miss Finch is no longer with them.
The Facts in the Case of the Departure of Miss Finch is a strange story that makes one question what one is actually seeing, what is supposed reality and what is not. Through the skillful writing of Gaiman and the haunting artistic style of Zulli, it is a book that leaves a lasting impression on the reader.
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Originally written on July 26th, 2008 ©Alex C. Telander.