Return of the Dapper Men

Return of the Dapper Men

Return of the Dapper Men

story by Jim McCann, art by Janet Lee

Top Shelf Productions / Penguin Random House

Childhood is a time of wonder with miracles ranging from flowers opening to birds flying to the eternal question: “What the heck are mom and dad so upset about?” In this spacey and slightly surreal world time has stopped because the big Clockwork Angel down at the ocean broke. That angel motivates a world now stuck in the present. Young Ayden and his robotic girlfriend Zoe wander this world of Anorev and somehow all their needs are met, or aren’t needs to begin with. Up on the surface are the cranky real children, down beneath are the robots. Mixing is frowned upon, and the pair are hassled upstairs more than below. Where food and water come from remains murky, but one day 412 very dapper men appear in identical bowler hats and striped suits. Their task is soon clear: The Clockwork Angel must be rebuilt and Ayden and Zoe are a prime element of that plan. Work commences, villain interfere, but soon enough a giant TOCK sets the world in motion once more. The Dapper dudes lit off into the sky in a sort of mundane non-denominational ascension, and all is right with the world again.

It’s a simple tale with elements of acceptance and cooperation, but the illustrations are the most wonderful thing here. It’s a cartoon, but an elegantly beautiful one and each frame is filled with details that often don’t appear until you’ve passed through this journey many times. It’s a Windsor McKay world updated to consider modern concerns. The story runs a bit over 100 pages and the rest of the book is devoted to how the art came to be, what motivated the story, and studies made prior to inking the main panels of this stunning graphic novel of the book. While aimed at children on that critical cusp of adolescence, it’s a book any adult will enjoy seeing over and over. The video game violent of today’s entertainment feed is nowhere to be found, and this book ought to become a classic.

www.topshelfcomix.com

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Recently on Ink 19...

  • Tarik Aktaş
    Tarik Aktaş

    Dead Horse Nebula director, Tarik Aktaş, speaks with Generoso Fierro about his AFI Fest 2018-selected debut feature.

  • Beth Hart
    Beth Hart

    Beth Hart – Live At The Royal Albert Hall (Mascot Label Group/Provogue). Review by Michelle Wilson.

  • Nailed It!
    Nailed It!

    Is it a cooking show, or the funniest thing on TV?

  • Split Tooth
    Split Tooth

    The natural and the supernatural dance under the Northern lights in Tanya Tagaq’s first novel, Split Tooth.

  • Thoroughbreds
    Thoroughbreds

    Thoroughbreds is one of the most fun and playful dark comedies in ages.

  • Dennis Quaid & the Sharks
    Dennis Quaid & the Sharks

    Out Of The Box. (Omnivore) Review by Jeremy Glazier.

  • Florida Man Music Festival
    Florida Man Music Festival

    The Florida Man Music Festival lit up the Orlando Amphitheater with a bunch of acts chosen by FM 101.9 (Orlando’s New Alternative radio station). Jen Cray approved.

  • The Unnamable
    The Unnamable

    This ’80s adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft’s short story The Unnamable became a video store staple and is now reissued on Blu-ray for current audiences.

  • On Golden Pond
    On Golden Pond

    A retired couple deal with senility and their daughters love life in a family cabin in rural Maine.

  • Seaway
    Seaway

    Seaway rocked the Soundbar with Trophy Eyes, Microwave and more!

From the Archives