Wednesday, 6 January 2010

The Dare Detectives 1.1 and 1.2 by Ben Caldwell review

Reformed bad girl Maria Dare, hulking farmboy Toby Taylor and cynical bunny Jojo are the hottest crimefighting team in Chinatown. In these two fat digests they've lost their detective license but remain determined to fight the good fight, rescuing a crack team of chefs from the bewitching Madame Bleu and her gang - hardboiled pandas and the odd abominable snowman. Also on hand are such lowlives as Mr White, Furious George and Killer Gorilla.

This is my first exposure to Ben Caldwell's comic and it's a delight. Maria and co have likable, well defined-personalities revealed through the action, which pummels through each 96-page episode like a rollercoaster (click to big up). The character designs are ridiculously attractive, from cute and feisty Maria through instant gay icon Toby, glamourpuss vixen Madame Bleu and beyond, in a Chinatown that's a glorious combo of noir and neon. The confident script is full of snappy, sassy dialogue, the artistic 'camera' never stands still . . . Dare Detectives is a tour de force from an artist who really knows his craft and if Disney, Pixar or whomever don't pay Ben big bucks for this property and put the Dare Detectives on the big screen, they're nuts. Heck, he's done all the hard work already.

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