Houdini: The Handcuff King, by Jason Lutes and Nick Bertozzi ISBN 9780786839025
Five out of five stars
Harry Houdini was an incredible individual, so talented at escape and magic that there were people that questioned whether he was completely human. Yet, there were always simple explanations for how he managed to perform his tricks, much of the mystique was due to his incredible showmanship.
This graphic novel is not about the life of Houdini, it focuses on one specific event. He was to strip nearly naked, manacled and then jump into the freezing Charles River. Given the weight of the steel that he was wearing, Houdini would immediately sink to the bottom. The Cambridge police department would perform the shackling as well as searching Houdini for any hidden lock picks.
From this rendition, the reader learns about the incredible showmanship of Houdini and how he managed to perform this specific stunt. This graphic novel is an excellent history lesson, putting forward a small portion of the life of the greatest magician and escape artist that ever lived. All of his magic was based on tricks, yet there was always the element of danger, for despite all the intense preparation and practice, there was always the possibility that something would go wrong.