The breezy ban­dit

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - READS -

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

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