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THE DISAPPEARANCE OF GORDON PAGE, JR. by Robert Hendricks

www.strangertwostranger.tumblr.com

This book marks Hendricks’ transition from the entertaining still images depicting Craigslist “Missed Connections” ads in his Stranger Two Stranger series, to more traditional panel to panel sequential storytelling. The results are a good start to the creator stretching his creative muscles. The style of art is visually interesting, but as a storyteller Hendricks can sometimes rely a little too much on big blocks of text for information dumps vs. pure dialogue, but that’s an easy temptation with the nature of this type of non-fictional story. I also think it might have been the partial result of cramming a lot of content into a few short pages originally intended for an anthology. Hendricks uses primarily straight-on shoulder-level head shots, and he could vary those camera angles more as he continues down his creative path. I enjoyed the story; in the end, a sad one about someone probably just trying to get home to his parents when he disappeared. Details like the baseball cards are chilling in their precision, but also logical given savant tendencies on the autism spectrum. The most disturbing aspect of this for me was that Hendricks captures a time period in the health care system that saw the rise in overmedication coupled with misdiagnosis, a silent epidemic that never really had any regulatory or legal repercussions for health care workers supposedly acting in good faith. Fans of any true crime or “Unsolved Mysteries” style shows are a group I can easily recommend this to, especially at the low risk price of just $1. Grade B+.

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