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Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Reader's Diary #1368- Wren Nowan (writer), Michael Reardon (artist): Escape from Alcatraz 14 The Final Breakout

As the subtitle states, this comic by Wren Nowan and Michael Reardon details the final escape attempt from Alcatraz. Just three months after John Paul Scott and Darl Dee Parker tried, and failed, to leave Alcatraz behind them for good, Alcatraz the prison was closed for good.

Of all of the documented escape attempts, I wouldn't call Scott's and Dee's the most thrilling or inventive (they found weak window bars in the kitchen from years of past prisoners' filing attempts and managed to finally make the breakthrough), but none of these stories were exactly boring. Michael Reardon's masterful watercolour art on this issue is also enough to keep one engaged.

Unless I can get my hand on the volumes that I've missed, or if they finally publish a collected graphic novel version, this also ends my time with this series— one of the best souvenirs I've ever purchased. Now, reflecting back, there seemed to have been a theme (one born out of facts, not of artistic license) of the need for prison reform. Alcatraz was a tough place and seemed to exist to appease the general public that criminals were being punished and being punished harshly. If reform was not a consideration, certainly an engaging environment was not. To some extent, I think that's where the escape attempts came from; sheer boredom and a need to escape the monotony.

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