Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

Home > CR Reviews

Bandette #1
posted July 4, 2012


Creators: Paul Tobin, Colleen Coover
Publishing Information: Monkeybrain, digital comic, July 2012, $.99
Ordering Numbers: Exclusive To comiXology

imageWell, this is certainly gorgeous. The initial press announcement for the new Monkeybrain digital comics line went out with a ton of art from the first five features; this is the one that stood out for me in thumbnail form, which is no easy feat. Collen Coover's painted art looks like something Richard Sala would do, and Richard Sala has been making comics art the last few years like he expects it to heal people. The end result is that Bandette is freakishly adorable; think Wes Anderson's Hit Girl starring a very young Audrey Tautou. That's right, I liked this comic enough I'm throwing lame, made-up movie comparisons at it, all without hating myself afterwards.

Bandette strikes me as a trifle, which may be hard to take in the long run; the characters come from that central casting agency that comics uses a lot where all the actors they represent are giant stereotypes. There's also not much to the plot of the first issue: Bandette experiences a robbery gone bad; she uses her network to escape reprisal; she's called in to consult with some cops. It doesn't feel like writer Paul Tobin is being parsimonious with the narrative details in order to push things over several issues. The laconic pacing feels natural to the material. Still, whether or not Bandette works over the long term will depend less and less on Coover's pretty art and more and more on Tobin's ability to make this layered, accomplished comics. If he can hold up his end of things, this could be a little breakout book. I'd certainly spend more time here, enough not to care about the way I'm getting the work, simply awash in the comics themselves.