246. The Drained Brains Caper by Trina Robbins

The Drained Brains Caper by Trina Robbins. Illustrated by Tyler Page (Canada) - (USA)
Chicagoland Detective Agency, #1

Pages: 62
Ages: 9+
Finished: Nov. 14, 2010
First Published: Aug, 2010
Publisher: Graphic Universe
Genre: Graphic novel, children, mystery, science fiction
Rating: 4/5

First sentence:

Of all the pet supply stores in Chicagoland, she had to come walking into this one.

Acquired: Received a review copy from Lerner Publishing Group.

Reason for Reading: This is a Cybils '10 nominee and required reading for me as a graphic novels panelist.

Honestly from the cover and title I was expecting corny and campy but what I got was an entertaining old-style private eye detective story involving a mad scientist. The plot is similar to that of Brain Camp, though this time it is a summer prep school where the students seem to all be brain washed into achieving. Add our main character, Megan Yamamura. The new kid in town, a vegan, manga reading, haiku writing girl with gusto and this book is a success. Megan carries this book and is an unforgettable character, whom one just wants to meet up with again. She is joined by Raf, a nerdy computer guy and Bradley, a special dog they rescue from an experiment lab. The story covers their first case and determines how they set up the Detective Agency which will be open for business in book 2 advertised on the last page. A funny, silly, "scoobby doo" type mystery.

The art work is fantastic. Done in b/w, at first glance it may disappoint but once you start reading, I realized Megan couldn't have been depicted otherwise. Her beautiful Japanese look dressed in a combo of goth and emo style clothing perfectly suits her. The backgrounds aren't very detailed but the facial expressions are delightful and the sound effects add much to the action. An impressive story. Will look forward to book 2: The Maltese Mummy.


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