Paul Tobin and Colleen Coover won the Eisner this year for creating the Best Digital Comic. Their wonderful comic, Bandette, was released by the digital publisher Monkeybrain. With the notoriety that comes along with an Eisner, their digital comic is coming to print via Dark Horse Comics this Wednesday. Anyone looking for a terrifically light hearted book with humor, adventure and a dash of extra spicy awesome sauce need look no further. This book has everything and is incredibly well drawn and well told. Even the forward by Paul Cornell is the kind that draws readers in. But it’s the art, with an understated color pallet, that will keep readers coming back, over and over again.
Paul Tobin provides the story while Colleen Coover provides the art to a tale about a young thief in Paris who is a bit of a Robin Hood and a touch of Catwoman. She has a band of merry men, led by a love interest named Daniel, who are actually friends and fans of Bandette’s from the streets. Even the head cop, Inspector Belgique, is a fan of Bandette. He works to capture her but she is more of the kind of criminal that saves the day while keeping a little something for herself. She manages to get from him and the Paris police, with some misdirection from her street urchin helpers, as well as some clever costuming. Her bright red blouse converts to a purse where she can hide her mask and wig, while her colorful cloak becomes a lovely yellow skirt.
She’ll cleverly walk past the police on her escape saying her catch phrase “Presto!” under her breath. With a smile on her face, she’ll then get a call from the Inspector; because he’ll need her custom kind of help catching a true criminal. That being said, there is more than one clever thief in Paris, and she’ll have to work with the Monsieur to take down the truly dangerous criminals of Paris.
Bandette Volume 1: Presto! Is the collection of the MonkeyBrain Comics published issues 1-5. If you’ve liked what you’ve read and you fall in love with the preview art, the digital comics would be a great place to get more of a preview. The printed story though, includes extra stories by Tobin with art from Steve Lieber, Alberto J. Alburquerque, Tina Kim, Jonathan Case, Jennifer Meyer, Rich ellis, Mitch Gerads and Erika Moen. Each one of these “Urchin Stories” expands on Tobin and Coover’s rich world of fun through criminal endeavor. The books extra features also contain a short story by Tobin called Daniel’s story – with some additional illustration by Colleen Coover. Not done there, the extras get one more jolt of awesome sauce in the form of an art process breakdown by Colleen.
For the low price of $14.99 you get 142 pages of everything that makes comic books terrific. It’s entertaining; it’s a great piece of literature and a wonderful display of art that will warm even the coldest of hearts. Considering the time of year, Dark Horse couldn’t have picked better timing to drop this book into your hands, or through your hands, to those of your friends and fellow street urchins.
Writer: Paul Tobin, Alberto J. Alburquerque
Artist: Colleen Coover
Additional Artists: Steve Lieber, Erika Moen, Jonathan Case, Jennifer Meyer
Cover Artist: Colleen Coover
Genre: Humor, Crime, Action/Adventure
Publication Date: November 06, 2013
Preview Pages Courtesy of Dark Horse Comics