Bury the Lede is a new original graphic novel published by BOOM! Studios, written by Gaby Dunn (Bad with Money, I Hate Everyone But You), with art by Claire Roe (Batgirl and the Birds of Prey, Welcome Back), colors by Miquel Muerto, and letters by Mike Fiorentino. The graphic novel follows Madison Jackson, a cub reporter for The Boston Lede. As an intern, Madison is determined to prove herself so when her police scanner mentions a brutal murder tied to the prominent Boston Kennedys, Madison high tails it to the crime scene hoping to grab a scoop big enough to get her noticed.
However, she isn’t fast enough to grab an exclusive but she does meet Dahlia Kennedy, celebrity socialite, now widow, covered in gore and the prime suspect in the murder of her husband and child. Now, Dahlia refuses to talk to anyone except Madison, bringing the new reporter face to face with a potential killer in a deadly game cat and mouse that leads the young journalist down a twisted path.
After getting Dahlia to speak to her Madison is understandably a mess. Hearing the horrible deaths of Dahlia’s husband, Edgar, and son, Henri, described in detail by a cold, seemingly emotionless woman is disturbing. But with each visit, Madison gets bolder and Dahlia gets more dangerous as she begins to repeat insider information on the Mayor. With Madison’s brother, David, part of the Mayoral office staff, Madison must figure out how to balance staying loyal to her family and being a reporter. Meanwhile, as the pieces begin to unfold, Madison realizes this case is not as cut and dry as Dahlia wants her to believe.
As someone who graduated from a school of journalism, I am in the mindset that reporters don’t get enough credit. People often don’t realize the long hours and endless research that goes into the job. Bury the Lede explores what it takes to be a journalist, from the murky ethics, to the sleepless nights, and the hard deadlines. However, at its core, Bury the Lede is a murder mystery framed through the eyes of an inexperienced reporter. Madison’s lack of experience is quickly made up by her fearlessness and ability to dive headfirst into a murder investigation with more twists and turns than Lombard Street in San Fransisco.
In addition to following Dahlia’s compelling murder investigation, the book also acts as a coming of age story for Madison. Madison is making a name for herself and face comes with consequences. Additionally, the book explores Madison’s bisexuality and the complications of having a relationship with your source or someone you work with. In a lot of ways, Madison feels relatable. She is young, she can be reckless, but most importantly, she is determined.
Roe’s art has a grittiness to it that makes the book feel like a classic noir detective story and matches the narrative which is dripping with moral ambiguity. Additionally, Muerto’s deep blues and purples dominate most of the panels. Since this is a modern story, the use of phones and computers to create lighting and even create interesting panel designs is a smart choice. Together Roe and Muerto create a beautiful and haunting story.
However, as compelling as Bury the Lede is, my one complaint is the stakes never feel high enough. Madison never seems to be in grave danger even when she is talking to sources or people who could potentially want to hurt her if certain information gets out. The biggest danger to Madison is often her own choices, especially in regards to her relationships. That being said, this is still a great read for any true crime fans.
Bury the Lede is available now everywhere comic books are sold.
Bury the Lede
However, as compelling as Bury the Lede is, my one complaint is the stakes never feel high enough. That being said, this is still a great read for any true crime fans.