I grew up with the Hardy Boys - oh, I knew of Nancy Drew, but never read the books. I could not get my hands on a Hardy Boys book fast enough; it would be my first stop at the bookstore. Sadly, fifty years ago I outgrew them.
This past week Anthony Del Col renewed my interest. The Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, the Bobbsey Twins, and Tom Swift, have all been recreated in the 21st century. This reincarnation is not for the book-loving fans of the past, but for the graphic novel loving generation.
The story is top-notch - easy to follow and involved enough to hold this sexagenarian’s attention for the entire 162 pages of graphic art. Though the stars are definitely The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew are the starts, but we also get a glimpse of the Bobbsey Twins and Tom Swift. Beginning with the suicide (or was it murder) of Frank Hardy, the Boys’ father, the story quickly shifts to the Hardy Boys being each (or jointly) being involved in the events surrounding the death. The police are quick to identify them as the wanted parties and give little thought to other possible suspects. The biggest part of the book focuses on unraveling the events of the night when Frank Hardy died.
Not a great fan or critic of comic art, I did find the art more remanence of the 60’s or 70’s than the more explosive style prevalent in much of today’s comic art. That may have made this reader feel more at home, but it should not drive away those more often exposed to the current style. Because I was reading an e-book, I am not in a position to evaluate how effective the artwork is reproduced with modern inks and paper. Having said that, let it be known the e-book is well done.
The book concludes with a number of special features - interviews with the author, the artist, the colorist, and the letterist. A number of close-ups are provided of the art found within the stories pages are also included. And finally, a hint - what is that about the Bobbsey Twins and a future mystery? We will just have to wait and see.
Read the book - whether you are current graphic art fan, a fan of the comic books of yore, or a fan of the Hardy Boys or Nancy Drew. The reader will not be disappointed - I wasn’t.
This review is based on a free electronic copy provided by the publisher for the purpose of creating this review. The opinions are mine alone.