One of my favorite genre mashups is Who Framed Roger Rabbit? It’s a movie that still holds up despite its age. The movie revolved around a washed-up detective who now works as a private eye, played luminously by the late great Bob Hoskins. As a major figure of the cartoon town that borders the town where he works passes away, a cartoon idol, Roger Rabbit, gets framed for his murder.
The movie took everything everyone loved about the Crime Noir genre and mashed it up with the all ages cartoon feature. Essentially, taking the flair of Robert Towne’s Chinatown and the subversive humor of Monsters Inc. Frank N. Stein, Private Eye is another genre mashup in the spirit of that iconic film, but this time with monsters.
We are taken to Monstertown, where Frank N. Stein, the local private eye, whose ex-wife has been a nightmare at the very least to him, as she has been more than unfaithful when they were married. In “Alife in The Night,”, we the dissolution of his marriage and how his line of work can be dangerous for all the reasons no one can see. In “A Strange Visitor,” an alien toddler crash lands into Monstertown, where a human helps take custody. In “A Red-Hot Mess,” Little Red Riding Hood hires Frank to find out who chopped up her grandmother, only to find out who killed her, was not the person everyone thought it was in the first place. In “Riverdale Jumpstreet,” we see frank going undercover in Archie’s Riverdale, where he finds out that Reggie has been behind all the hijinks happening Archie’s friends. In the last story, we get “The Sailor Man,” where Frank finds a nasty love triangle between Popeye, Olive Oil and Pluto.
Overall, the comic is a fun if not cheeky set of stories that aims to both honor and poke fun at all these classic storybook legends. The stories by Keith Champagne are funny and engaging. The art by Dev Madan is diverse and vivid. Altogether, a great collection of stories that will entertain readers and remind them of how amusing mashups can be.
Story: Keith Champagne Art: Dev Madan
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy