The adventures of Bandette, a young costumed “artful dodger”, leader of a group of urchins dedicated to serving justice, except when thieving proves to be a bit more fun. The story of Bandette treads a thin line between Tintin and Nancy Drew, with a few costumes thrown in. Bandette and her crew at turns join forces and cross swords with the mysterious master thief known only as Monsieur, and one B.D. Belgique, perhaps the most harassed police inspector of all time.
I haven’t finished the first TPB and I had to add it to my recommendations. Bandette is nothing short of delightful (and to be honest, I never thought I’d ever use that word).
The dialogue is cheeky, just like Bandette.
And the art is pitch-perfect, with watercolor-y, sorta European feel.
At first I thought it was a French comic that was translated into English. I even scrutinized the text to see if there were traces of older speech bubbles and captions underneath the English ones – but no. It’s a fully digital comic made by American (quite possibly the fabled red-blooded American) creators, Paul Tobin (writer) and Colleen Coover (artist). Who are also a married super-duo.
I got the Tintin vibe right away, because it has that innocent feel with zero grittiness. I can see the Nancy Drew vibe too, though it’s more fun with the secret identity and the Sherlock Holmes-y extended gang.
Story-wise it’s firmly in ‘fun caper’ territory. It’s opening my eyes to the fact that things don’t have to be fully detailed in a comic as the suspension of disbelief is easier. I don’t say it’s ‘easy’ though, as the suspension has to be aided by writing and art that works together, which it does in spades in Bandette.
And man – I love the art. It looks mixed digital and analog (or fully digital with a friggin’ great watercolor brush). The colors are bright, the backgrounds are lovely – it all just works so well together.
And I’m just geeking out over the lineart and brush strokes. I mean, look at the curves of Belgique (aka smoking dude)’s face and the all the folds and edges of his jacket. I spend way too much time trying to get that shit perfect and my lines don’t look half as good as hers (hello again, Comparison Demon, Thief of Joy…).
You know what? Just go read it. If you like Tintin or Nancy Drew or Nimona, you will enjoy Bandette. It’s a fun read that’s also candy for the eyes.