At the outset of Cheapjack Gentleman by Rebecca Coulthart, an undertaker in a rural Victorian-era village, Wilkinson Graeber, receives a grisly proposal from Dr. Edmund Drabsley. It seems a certain Dr. Chauncy Crowley has written to Drabsley and inquired after a certain rare type of goods: human cadavers!
While Graeber is initially somewhat reticent to enter into a business arrangement with the loud and smelly Drabsley, he eventually concedes – money is money, after all, and depending on the cadaver, Drabsley says that Crowley is willing to pay up to eight or nine guineas per body, contingent on the details of the particular corpse.
In Part II, “Putting the ‘Fun’ in Funeral,” the unlikely business partners have an opportunity to ply their grave robbing trade. What follows is a glimpse of Graeber’s business, in an interesting and wordless depiction of a funereal service. In spite of the clumsy come-ons that Drabsley directs towards the widow during the burial, Graeber and Drabsley nevertheless succeed in exhuming a corpse to sell to Crowley.
However, some questions loom large. What is the nature of the relationship between Crowley and Drabsley, and how did they come to be acquainted? With such different personalities, can Drabsley and Graeber really sustain a corpse stealing business? Are Crowley’s motivations for purchasing these freshly exhumed cadavers really purely medicinal? And what kind of problems will Crowley’s assistant, Dudley Thompkins, inevitably end up causing for the overbearing and obnoxious Drabsley?
There are plenty of interesting bits and pieces to Cheapjack Gentleman, and the Halloween season is the perfect time to catch up with this stylish and spooky webcomic!
You can also read Cheapjack Gentleman on Webtoon. Be sure to follow Rebecca on Twitter and Instagram to keep up with the latest updates, and you can directly support the comic through her Patreon page.