Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Book-A-Day 2014 #28: Bandette Presto! by Tobin and Coover

I come to today's Book-A-Day post logy from my current Creeping Crud -- it could be the flu that's laid out my older son for most of the last week, or perhaps an infection all of my very own -- so I will have to struggle to avoid doing the bare minimum and setting this thing to post. (I apologize in advance if I do.)

(Also, my typing gets even more unreliable as I get more tired and more under the influence of Creeping Crud, which could be something else to apologize for.)

Paul Tobin and Colleen Coover are a husband-and-wife cartoonist team -- he writes, she draws (and has also written, as well) -- who have done a lot of work separately and a smaller amount together. (I've read some Coover in the days before this blog -- I liked her all-women sex-positive smutty comic Small Favors -- and I read their somewhat artsy Gingerbread Girl in 2012.)

Bandette Vol. 1: Presto! collects the first five issues of the series published by the fine folks at Monkeybrain. (Who I knew, very very slightly, back in my SFnal days -- hello, Chris and Allison!) If I were still buying "floppy" comics, this would definitely be one of them: it's a bright, sunny, fun romp, set in Paris and with a strong flavor of bande dessinee, about the greatest thief in the world, who is a teenage girl more full of joie de vivre than you would credit.

I wonder if Tobin and Coover can keep the book so amazingly happy and sunny -- will Bandette always succeeding brilliantly and easily begin to pall one day? -- but this first volume is entirely lovely and wonderful, with a sophisticated, muted palette of colors, crackling dialogue that makes you want to read it out loud, and a story full of excitement and wonder: urchins! secret societies! gruff police detectives! scooters! mysterious women!

Bandette's rivalry with Monsieur -- the other person with a claim to be the best thief in the world -- is also pitch-perfect, with the two of them stealing things back and forth from each other and -- of course! -- setting out in a competition to steal the items that will take down the inevitable shadowy criminal organization.

If you don't like Bandette, there just may be no hope for you.

Book-A-Day 2014 Introduction and Index

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