I first read this when it originally came out in 1989, and got to thinking, “hey, was that any good?” All I could remember was near-future, gangsters, a lot of violence, the Tim Finnegan song, and something to do with fate and seeing the future. And a lot of violence. Also, a lot of violence.
So I hauled it out and am about half-way through it now. Did I mention that there’s a lot of violence? Most of it’s off panel. But there is a lot of violence in the story, and there is a lot of what happens to people who get violence done unto them. And a lot of that is shown–Fredric Wertham might have a field day with the “injury to the eye motif.” Except that the subtext of Skreemer isn’t about violence, the text is, so Wertham would have plenty to complain about, but his complaining wouldn’t go very far, since he was really interested in subtext.
Anyway. The goriness of the violence and the aftermath is muted somewhat by the muted color pallet the artists used (Tom Ziuko was the colorist). There are flashbacks which have their own tonality. Indeed, the entire book (thus far) is a flashback to the main storyline, and then there are flashbacks from there to the childhood and early gangster life of Vito Skreemer, the top dog in this dog-eat-dog world.
OK, that’s enough for now.