Goldfish is a fast-paced noir thriller with a theme, plot and characters worthy of any crime writer, and a revelation of what a graphic novel can do. You waste no time reading descriptions of people, surroundings, body language, car crashes and gun battles: your visual cortex does the work with immediate impact. Bendis's art is simple, dark, very expressive. Here and there facial expressions are awkwardly drawn, but the overall layout is effective and the acting is really good. I love the way he only paints surroundings every couple of pages, but they're so carefully selected that they stick with you for a long time. His lighting, close-ups and sustained high tempo do remind you of a movie (think Reservoir Dogs or Memento), except that the dialogue is unimpaired by PG ratings. It's sassy, to the point, true to its characters like a tape recording.
Now you might say that it's almost overdone. The author devised a rigid formal structure that is very densely packed with points and counterpoints, comic relief, dramatic confessions, flash-backs, flash-forwards, action, anticipation, etc. His technique is a little bit too obvious, and the female characters end up a tad shrill. But that's just a tiny gripe for purists, and I'm glad to report, Bendis is completely over that now (look at Jinx, it's a true classic). Besides, many layered themes are woven into this story just as carefully as its plot twists and turns, and its final offbeat perspective makes up for whatever feels formulaic before that. So, don't pass up on Goldfish. It's a great read, it has real feeling and makes more than one good point. It definitely deserves a spot in your collection.