Aaron Reynolds and Neil Numberman are a formidable duo in the buggy underworld. The creators of Joey Fly Private Eye wield the pen to create a buzzingly-good interplay of text and image in their second Joey Fly graphic novel, Joey Fly Private Eye in Big Hairy Drama.
With time beetling along until opening night, Proprietor of the Scarab Beetle Theatre, Director Harry Spyderson, is in a tangle of tarantula legs; Greta Divawing, leading lady in the much-anticipated Bugliacci, is missing! Joey Fly and his sidekick Sammy Stingtail are called in to crack the case.
The format of graphic novel serves the wit of Reynolds well, with muttered undertones and throw-away lines caught within captions of each panel. I love play-on-words, and Joey Fly Private Eye – Big Hairy Drama is full of one-liners and asides, and dare I say it… sick jokes. It’s funny! It’s clever. It works.
Numberman captures the wit and irony in his seemingly effortless illustrations. Great attention is paid to perspective and zoom, so that you are lured into the gloomy world of the Bug City. Panels are monochromatic, which makes colour changes highly effective in denoting scene, time and mood shifts.
I confess. The teacher in me is impressed with the comic realism captured in the illustrations. The spider has eight legs, the insects have six – and the leading lady butterfly has a fine and dainty proboscis. I know that kids will be looking at those things, especially if they’re doing a class unit on insects or mini beasts!
The Joey Fly 2 that I received to review was hardcover – which will serve well for the read and re-read I know Joey Fly is going to endure in this household of book bugs!