Monthly Archives: December 2013

Qui est Cette Fille?

BandetteI’m con­tin­u­ing with the theme from last time, talk­ing about good comics I’ve read recent­ly. The rea­son this post’s title is in French will become clear in a bit.

This time out, it’s Paul Tobin and Colleen Coover’s Ban­dette. From the moment I first saw art from this com­ic, I knew it would be right up my alley. But it’s only recent­ly that I was able to buy a copy. This is because up until now, Ban­dette did­n’t exist in phys­i­cal form. It was part of the Mon­key­brain line of dig­i­tal comics.

Here’s where I might sound like a bit of an old fogey, but I haven’t quite been able to cross over yet to pur­chas­ing comics that exist sole­ly in dig­i­tal form. I’m not anti-dig­i­tal media by any means! I love check­ing out my favorite web comics, and I love the fact that if I devel­oped a sud­den ran­dom crav­ing to buy mari­achi music at 2 am, I could pur­chase it instant­ly on iTunes. But even so, I can’t quite get past feel­ing a lit­tle odd over the fact there’s noth­ing phys­i­cal to show for those pur­chas­es. Feels a bit like buy­ing air, even though I know it’s not the case.

Any­how, in this case, I knew that as soon as Ban­dette became avail­able in phys­i­cal form, I’d want to pick up a copy. And I was not dis­ap­point­ed! Ban­dette Vol­ume One: Presto! is an absolute blast.

Her adven­tures take place in Paris (hence my post title). You might think from the visu­al that Ban­dette would be a super­heroine, but no! Actu­al­ly, she’s a thief! Albeit an incred­i­bly gift­ed one, (with “Presto!”, as she’d say) who occa­sion­al­ly comes to the aid of Police Inspec­tor Belgique.

Ban­dette is adorable, irre­press­ible, with je ne sais quoi and joie de vivre (and per­haps oth­er French phras­es that go beyond the extent of my lim­it­ed recall of my high school and col­lege French). You can’t help but like her! Some of it is due to the writ­ing (Paul Tobin dis­plays a tal­ent for giv­ing the dia­logue a French-feel­ing rhythm with­out resort­ing to pho­net­ic accents). A lot of it also comes from Colleen Coover’s art, which imbues Ban­dette with so much life and appeal, and spontaneity.

I’d think most read­ers junior high age and up (or old­er read­ers who are still some­what young at heart) will love this book. My only regret is that there isn’t a Vol­ume 2 ready to read right now! I’d def­i­nite­ly rec­om­mend check­ing Ban­dette out, if you get the chance.

Before I close, it seems appro­pri­ate (giv­en my tim­ing, and the top­ic) to wish all my site vis­i­tors a joyeux noel et bonne année!

Ban­dette is ™ and © Paul Tobin and Colleen Coover.

Go, Molly, Go!

Molly Danger ColorIt’s occurred to me that it’s been awhile since I talked about any new comics I’ve read that I liked, and there’ve been more than a few recent­ly. So I thought this would be a good time to do that again.

This time out, I’m going to talk about Jamal Igle’s Mol­ly Dan­ger. Jamal is an artist and writer who has done a lot of work for DC, Mar­vel and oth­er pub­lish­ers. Mol­ly is the result of his decid­ing to throw his hat into the cre­ator-owned ring. I applaud when cre­ators do this. Not only is this good for the cre­ators, but we fans and read­ers win too!

Mol­ly Dan­ger is a ten-year-old girl, who just hap­pens to also have super-strength and invul­ner­a­bil­i­ty. She’s the res­i­dent super­hero of Coop­ersville, NY, pro­tect­ing res­i­dents from the men­ace of the “Super­me­chs” that crop up from time to time. Mol­ly even has a whole sup­port team work­ing with her, called D.A.R.T. (the Dan­ger Action Response Team).

This vol­ume is the first of a pro­ject­ed four vol­ume series. The book’s for­mat is larg­er than a stan­dard com­ic and in hard­cov­er, kind of like some of the Euro­pean albums I’ve seen. It’s a fun, all-ages ride that Igle has craft­ed here. And “craft” is the right word, as every aspect of this is lov­ing­ly and appeal­ing­ly crafted.

I get some of the same sense of fun from this that I used to get from read­ing my favorite Mar­vel or DC Comics when I was a kid. Not to imply that this book is done in some kind of “retro” style, because it’s not. Igle and his crew are using all the mod­ern tools at their dis­pos­al. There are ele­ments in the writ­ing that you prob­a­bly would not have seen in an old com­ic, but they make the char­ac­ters more relat­able to both young and old­er mod­ern read­ers alike. If any­thing, I’d say that what Igle’s got going here is per­haps some­thing of a sign­post for how peo­ple could approach doing mod­ern all-ages super­hero comics.

Style­wise, I’d put Jamal in the camp of the “com­ic book real­ists.” I sus­pect per­haps artists like Kevin Maguire might have been an influ­ence on him. But for my draw­ing here, I elect­ed to go my own way with it. I was kind of curi­ous to see what Mol­ly might look like with the old school col­or palette.

If you’re still a fan of good all-ages comics like I am, you might want to give Mol­ly a look!

Mol­ly Dan­ger is ™ and © Jamal Igle and Com­pa­ny LLC.