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Creepy Crawly Crime: 03/13/10
Creepy Crawly Crime by Aaron Reynolds and illustrated by Neil Numberman is the first in what I think is a planned series of graphic novels staring Joey Fly and his eager but clumsy assistant. In this introductory case the detective has to find the missing diamond pencil case, stolen at a recent high society party.
The story is narrated in a Raymond Chandler style fashion and illustrated in bright monochromatic palettes: purple panels, blue panels abound. These single color approaches help to mimic the chiaroscuro lightning used in the old film noir mysteries the graphic novel is parodying.
Creepy Crawly Crime has the same level of complexity to its mystery as a typical Hardy Boys or Nancy Drew. The story is engaging even if the reader is unfamiliar with film noir tropes. For older readers, or ones who have watched a few old movies, will laugh at the parody and visual jokes peppered throughout the book.
I read Creepy Crawly Crime as a second round panel judge for the 2009 Cybils.