Series: Volume I
Author: Paul Tobin and Colleen Coover
Published: Published November 26th 2013 by Dark Horse Comics
Genres: Young Adult, Crime, Adventure
Blurb: Paul Tobin and Colleen Coover’s enchanting, Eisner-nominated digital series comes to print! The world’s greatest thief is a costumed teen burglar in swinging Paris by the nome d’arte of Bandette! Gleefully plying her skills on either side of the law, Bandette is a thorn in the sides of both police inspector Belgique and the criminal underworld. But it’s not all breaking hearts and purloining masterpieces when a rival thief discovers that an international criminal organization wants Bandette dead! This beautiful hardcover includes the first arc, tales of Bandette’s street urchin helpers by guest artists, an original illustrated story, and more!
Things I liked:
- The design is bold and striking, referencing a sort of 60s mod-ish design. This is something I really haven’t seen before and it gives the book an immediate sense of identity. Plus, isn’t that cover just gorgeous? The combination of that red and black really catches the eye in the same way Hitchcock’s Vertigo poster does.
- The story is written with a real sense of fun and whimsy. It is a pleasure to follow the free-spirited Bandette’s adventures and this story is told with a perfectly-pitched light touch.
- There is a real depth to the gallery of characters here. Even the minor characters feel distinctive and inject the story with lots of personality. I particularly liked the Matador and I loved the way she was styled.
Things I disliked:
- This is only the first volume of adventures for Bandette, collecting a run of digital comics, and as such it does not tell a complete story. Be forewarned that the story ends really abruptly and that you will be left craving more.
I really enjoyed the sequence in which Bandette battles the Matador. They are both very strong female characters with lots of personality and it was fun to watch them interact.
What I thought of the art style:
I really enjoyed the artwork in this collection. I loved the striking use of bold colors for the main characters with simpler watercolor backgrounds that really make those characters pop out of the page and seem larger than life. I also really appreciated that the artist is given a section at the end of the graphic novel where she explains the processes she uses to create her artwork which mixes traditional and digital techniques.
Final Thoughts: This is a tremendously enjoyable graphic novel which combines an entertaining story with a charming, lively heroine. Bandette is given some wonderful dialog that shows off her spunky, lively character throughout the story and I also liked the ensemble of background characters who contribute much of the story’s sense of whimsy and humor. Bandette is definitely an unusual heroine in that she is technically a thief but she is always stealing for a good cause. I loved her interactions, especially with two characters – the first being her love interest who she teases mercilessly and secondly with the Matador, one of her most distinctive rivals who is also a very fun character in her own right. I also really enjoyed all of the literary and art references that are spread throughout this story. It is very rare that a comicbook will make you smile as much as this one made me smile and if you enjoy lighthearted caper stories with strong female leads, then I think this is the comicbook for you!