The breezy bandit
such as Steve Lieber, Jonathan Case, Alberto J. Alburquerque and Jennifer Meyer.
The story starts off breezily enough, as we are introduced to both sides of the quirky heroine in double-quick time – first with Bandette pulling off a heist that turns into a car chase through Paris (which she manages to escape thanks to her network of helpful “Urchins”); and then almost immediately, helping the chain-smoking Inspector Belgique capture a gang of bank robbers.
The main plot doesn’t surface until later, though, when rival master thief Monsieur comes across a sinister plot to kill Bandette, hatched by international criminal organisation Finis.
But never mind the plot. The main attraction of this series is just how quirky and fun it is. There is hardly a single unhappy panel in the entire book, and Bandette’s wide grin is an ever-present feature in every page, making this one of the most infectiously cheerful comics I have read in recent times.
Tobin and Coover previously worked together on the acclaimed Gingerbread Girl, and it’s nice to see that their partnership is still going strong. Tobin’s script and story are breezy, witty and crazily quirky (halfway through a swordfight to the death, Bandette complements assassin Matadori on her cape and they start comparing tailors), while Coover’s beautifully ink-washed artwork gives the whole thing a splash of colour and fun that manages to make even the grimmest of locations seem sunny.
Nominated for Best New Series, Best Digital Comic, Best Penciller/Inker and Best Coloring at last year’s Eisner Awards, this is as far away from the depressingly grim world of Lazarus as you can get.
It takes the clean-cut innocence of Tintin, the wackiness of Inspector Gadget, the snarky cattiness of Catwoman, the witty quips of Spiderman, and the joyful camaraderie of the ScoobyDoo gang, and combines everything into one delightfully sweet yet gleefully fun series that is guaranteed to brighten your day. There’s only one word that can describe the magic of this book – PRESTO! – Michael Cheang