Review – Return of the Dapper Men

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Return of the Dapper Men HCIs calling Return of the Dapper Men an “instant classic” too bold of a statement?  No, not really, because it is.  This modern day classic is a tale of a magical world that’s really hard to describe, and doing so might ruin it.  The story is right up there with Alice in Wonderland or the dozens of classics you enjoyed as a kid.  If/when I ever have kids, you better believe this is a book I’ll read over and over to them and will enjoy reading it as much as they listening.

Welcome to Anoreve, a world in between time, where children have played so long it’s almost become work, machines have worked so long they have begun to play and all the clocks have stopped at the same time. This is how this land has remained, until 314 dapper-looking gentlemen rain down from the sky and set off in different directions to start the world again. Now Ayden, the only boy to still ask questions; Zoe, the robot girl all other machines hold dear; and the Dapper Man known only as “41” must discover what happened that made time stop, understand what their true places are in this world, and learn what “tomorrow” really means. The sun is setting for the first time in memory, and once that happens, everything changes.

RETURN OF THE DAPPER MEN is a visually stunning fairy tale that combines steampunk with fantasy and science fiction with Renaissance style, brought to life from the minds of award-winning playwright and comic book writer Jim McCann (NEW AVENGERS: THE REUNION) and critically acclaimed visual artist Janet Lee. Together these two have created a world where J.M. Barrie, Lewis Carroll and Maurice Sendak meet Jim Henson and Tim Burton. All sharply dressed in a pin-stripe suit and a dapper bowler hat. Tick tock, time is about to start.

Jim Mccann‘s brilliant story has been one I’ve been waiting for.  It not only met my expectations but exceeded them.  It’s not an exaggeration to say this is a graphic novel I’ll be sharing with everyone I can.  The story is magical, exactly as it should be.

Janet Lee‘s art is spectacular as well.  It’s just beautiful to look at, and the explanation of how it was done in the back made me appreciate it more and going back page by page to stare at the images.

A book like this should transport you to a world unlike anything else you’ve seen.  It’s story should allow you to escape and feel like a child again.  This absolutely achieved that, so much so I’ve read it a few times since.

This modern classic is an absolute must buy, you won’t be disappointed.

Plot: There’s a lot of pressure on a book when it has such buzz in it’s lead up as this.  Mccann’s magical tale meets those expectations and then some.  It’s just everything you could want in this type of story.  It makes you escape into a beautiful world that makes you feel like a child.  Just amazing work.  Rating: 10

Art: Lee’s artwork is amazing, adding to Mccann’s amazing work.  The art is fantastic and I lingered on each page, then returned after to just look at the work.  This is unlike anything else out there, beautiful in every sense of the word.  Rating: 10

Overall: I can’t praise this enough.  There is just nothing wrong with it at all.  I hate to say the word perfection, but this is pretty damn close to it.  Amazing in every sense.  This is a recommended buy on every level and we can’t encourage you enough to pick it up.  Overall rating: 10

Recommendation: Buy

Page count: 128 pages    Price: $24.95     Release: Wednesday 11/17/2010

Archaia provided Graphic Policy with an advance copy of this issue for FREE for review.