Bandette, charmingly decked with a flair of red and a dash of blue-black, performs an elegant tumbling pass over the outer wall of a rich man's courtyard, snickering under her breath all the way. She's "thieved" a handful of Rembrandts, and the paid guards are kind of, sort of, trying to shoot her dead. But all is fair in Bandette's lively brand of "justice, or larceny, one of the two," she confesses.
Written by Paul Tobin and with artwork by Colleen Coover, the comic book is a landmark release for Monkeybrain Comics, which frequently dabbles in fantasy and fiction properties. In Bandette, readers will encounter a sprightly young woman whose knack for justice-through-thieving is second nature (e.g., the rich guy who owned the Rembrandt linework was also an arms dealer).
However, there's always something newer and bigger around the corner: police detectives on the edge of their seat; bigger and better cons; and bigger and better con artists. Can Bandette and her crew of urchins keep in the clear? And if so, will they retain their indomitable whimsy as well?
It's no real spoiler to say that most signs point to "yes"; this considering how Tobin and Coover's Bandette sweetens the story with comical and insightful dialogue, and blesses the reader with artwork bursting at the seams with smooth, delirious, and lush ink washes. Bandette #1 ($0.99) was released in early July 2012; and at just thirteen pages, is more affordable, per sheet, than an overwhelming majority of ongoing comics available on the market today
To that end, artist Colleen Coover recently launched a gallery presentation that showcases her work on Bandette (as well as a few other items/comics currently occupying her time).
Since the comic book was released as a digital-only product, the gallery event represents an exclusive exhibit of the physical work of Coover's efforts.
The gallery, hosted by the Portland, Oregon, store of Things from Another World (TFAW.com), held its opening reception last week and will keep Coover's artwork up for viewing through the end of the month. The original, physical artwork showcased includes what is essentially the entire first issue of Bandette, in addition to a pair of pages from a story Coover contributed to the "Double Feature" app initiative, called Rose's Heart.
Regarding Bandette -- billed as a cross between Nancy Drew and TinTin -- gallery attendees will have the chance to inhale the silly-but-stellar sense of adventure that drives the book's narrative. Coover has dabbled in comic book artistry that ranges from X-Men: The First Class to assorted spider-person comics to a host of indie projects, like Gingerbread Girl, published last spring.