A Study on Life Through The Eyes Of A Mad Man – FIB Chronicle Digital Graphic Novel – iPad App Review

FIB Chronicle is an independent graphic novel that pushes the boundaries of reality and shows a gritty, bitter side of life. It is not for sensitive viewers. It is not for people with conservative ideologies. It will offend you, and if it doesn’t there may be something wrong with you.

It is hard to review this app when it is the complete opposite of the kind of digital book reviews we normally write. I was tempted to pass on it altogether, but I appreciate the painfully raw content for its artistic value, so I will just warn you of its somewhat adult nature first.

I’ve been to my share of “Sick and Twisted” midnight cartoon screenings. I embrace lowbrow art as some of the finest. I was not the least bit shocked to see a drunk police detective, pooping in an alley while a criminal was about to assault a screaming woman. I was, however, offended by often-used derogatory terms for women and homosexuals. The writer was likely intending to use those words as a means to convey a message about tolerance, but quite honestly, it was hard to tell.

Each vignette of the book is only a page or two long. The stories are disjointed and confused. My uncle suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and the dialog in these comic strips reminded me of the way he talks. I don’t mean the content, but the broken, stream-of-conscience, delivery of thoughts that this book seems to have.

Why, you may be wondering, am I even writing a review about this app then? Because it is beautiful and painful, artistic and sad. It evokes emotion in its reader. As I swiped from page to page, I felt anger and unrest. Some pages almost seem like diary entries of an abused child, while others seem like the doodles of a psychopath.

While the content is brash and unnerving, there is a sort of beauty hidden in the pages of the FIB Chronicle. It is not unlike an artwork by Marcel Duchamp, or a film by David Lynch.

What I liked: The book stirred up feelings in me that were both confusing and upsetting. I appreciate that a comic strip can cause so much emotion.

What I didn’t like: The writer’s decision to use offensive names without taking a stand on whether he considers them good or bad was an unnecessary shock tactic.

To buy or not to buy: I cannot recommend this book to everyone, or even most people. There are some out there who will understand the complexity of the gritty content and appreciate it for its rawness. To those people, I say, buy it.
App Name: FIB Chronicle
Version Reviewed: 1.0
Category: Books
Developer: the publishing eye
Price: $4.99

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