Sleuths and satires

August 13, 2006

I’m really enjoying Kevin Melrose and Stacie Ponder’s delightful web-comic, Fenton and Fenton, Boy Detectives, over at Blog@Newsarama. It’s like a tipsy Encyclopedia Brown story with lots of cute gags. I also really love Ponder’s stick-figure character designs and great facial expressions. And I think “Creepies!” will become the new “Jinkies!”

Since I was a big fan of mystery series as a kid (and still am now), I’m predisposed to like anything that makes an affectionate hash of them. My favorites of this type are by Mabel Maney, who did tone-perfect takes on teen detectives like Cherry Ames, Nancy Drew, and the Hardy Boys, with the slight variation that everyone in the stories is gay.

The Case of the Not-So-Nice Nurse, The Case of the Good-For-Nothing Girlfriend, and A Ghost in the Closet are all cheerful, revisionist fun. They stick very closely to the structure and style of the originals (as I remember them), taking their subtext to its glorious conclusion.

I should dig them out and re-read them during this week’s travel for work, but I got a big stack of books at the library yesterday. (I’d hoped to have an Amazon order on hand, but I’m too cheap to pass on the super-saver shipping, so they’ll be waiting for me when I get back.)

One of the library choices is a Terry Pratchett (Going Postal), and I hadn’t really noticed that he’s published mostly with HarperCollins. Dorian mentioned that there had been some comics adaptations of Pratchett’s work before, but the HC/Tokyopop deal seems like a perfect opportunity for a new round. (I’ve stuck entirely with his Discworld books, but I should really give his young adult and children’s books a look.)

Pratchett’s books would probably be tough to translate, as they’ve got more jokes per page than most comic novels have per chapter. But even if only a fraction of the comedy made the cut, they’d still be pretty delightful.

And on the subject of library books, does anyone else have a cat who’s obsessed with them? One of mine is, and while she finds pretty much any reading material worthy of examination (including a totally perplexing hatred of bookmarks), nothing draws her attention as much as books from the library. Maybe it’s because they smell like other people?