The GeeksverseThe Dare Detectives: The Snow-Pea Plot Vol. 1

The Dare Detectives: The Snow-Pea Plot Vol. 1
Published on Monday, April 16, 2012 by

Can a book filled with so much craziness actually work? If it’s the Dare Detectives it can.

Published by: Archaia
Written & Art by: Ben Caldwell
Additional Colors & Inks by: Bill Hallilar & Mike Mucci

Take a hot-headed ex-con turned private eye from the Pirate Islands with a wish gun, add in a very strong and very dumb but incredibly strong guy with the middle name of Penelope, throw in a rabbit named Jojo, a Jessica Rabbit wanna-be with a magic ring, a flaming head monkey named Furious George, a gang of Panda goons, a raven crimelord named Mr. White, an Abomibubble Snowman named Pierre and a scottish terrier police officer named Macintosh, mix it all together and you have Ben Caldwell’s The Dare Detectives.

Sounds weird?

It is.

Sounds crazy?

It is.

Sounds good?

It is.

The story is 186 pages and I read it in 45 mins because I could not put it down. Just a fun story. And well crafted. Caldwell has major talent. The book reads great. It looks fantastic. And the story is just so crazy, that words can’t describe all the nuttiness that goes on.

How do you go from kidnapping cooks to cater a meeting of criminals to using that same meeting to take out the competition and take over the city? The Snow-Pea Plot indeed.

Caldwell’s writting ability is on display. There are so many one-liners and jokes that fit perfectly, and the main thrust of the story never gets lost. What seems one thing ends up being something else and this down-on-their-luck detective agency ends up saving the day in a manner that is uniquely theirs.

Caldwell’s art is great and the coloring… this literally looks like a cartoon on paper. It looks like someone reproduced actual cartoon cels. The colors are vibrant and bright. The art style reminds me of the old half-cartoon movies Cool World and Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Amazing work. He throws so much detail into every page.

And the craziness just never stops. It’s been a long time since I enjoyed a book this much. I can’t wait for more.

The Dare Detectives is a $24.95 hardcover book, 186 pages of story with alot of extras. It’s expensive, but I think it’s worth it. The extras are pretty unique. Besides the normal sketchbook material, Caldwell throws in a cover gallery.

How can a book that is just two parts need a cover gallery? It just does. Caldwell says he likes to make covers and so he does. The interesting thing is that these aren’t just sketches, there are hints that future Dare Detective stories will be found in the various covers. Besides being some interesting sketches, well also showing off Caldwell’s design sense, they are also teases of what’s to come.

And so is the back-up story. The back-up story takes place in the future, or it might not. There’s a new member of the Dare Detectives who we meet in the Kula Kola Caper. When does that happen? We don’t know, and that’s part of the fun. This story may or may not take place in continuity. We have to wait and see.

There is definately a sense of Caldwell throwing everything out there, seeing what sticks, and seeing how it all lays out. But he does a masterful job of taking what could be a mess and making it all work together.

The characters? Each is well developed and instantly likable, even Jojo. How can anyone not like Toby?

The Dare Detectives Case #1 receives
10 out of 5

Do yourself a favor and pick this up.

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