Caught My Eye: A Dummy’s Guide to Danger: Lost at Sea

Guest Post

I was recently given the opportunity to do an advance review of A Dummy’s guide to Danger: Lost at Sea, which is a comic book that I was already jazzed to read. I don’t normally like to review books that are offered to me, but I had a good feeling about this one since I just reviewed the mini series that this one spins out of. My initial feelings regarding this comic were well founded and I am glad I jumped at the chance to read it so I could report back to my faithful readers the good news. This one is for you Mom.

A Dummy’s guide to Danger: Lost at Sea is the sequel to a mini series that was titled A Dummy’s guide to Danger. First off, don’t let the fact that it is a sequel stop you from checking this title out. Very little from the first series is referenced and everything you need to know is explained in the opening scenes of this book. I was interested in seeing how Jason M. Burns was going to kick this series off for new readers and I am happy to say he did it well. For all purposes, you could read this series and never know that there was a previous mini series. That is something that all writers should strive for since you never want to leave your readers out in the cold.

In case you have not read my review of the first mini series, the book follows a pair of detectives as they get pulled into a crazed killer’s schemes. The catch is that one of the detectives is a ventriloquist’s dummy who the main character thinks is a real man. All of the people around them see him for what they really are, which is a crazy man and a dummy. Naturally, there is some comedy involved.

The first issue was laid out in a manner that both sets up the story for the rest of the series, but also gives you some meat to it. Often times, the first issue of an arc feels like it is purely setup and has no actual payoff in it. The only complaint I have with the book is in the beginning. In order to set up the characters and the story, it seems like it kind of drags on a bit. There were defiantly a lot of words in the first two scenes, and to me it kind of slowed down the story. From there, things pick up quite a bit and you can really get into it. Another element I enjoyed was the cliffhanger at the end. I can’t get enough of those in comics or any other form entertainment. The only downside is that I have to wait a while for the second issue since I read this one early.

The humor works really well once again. I found myself laughing out loud quite a bit. It also helped that I knew the characters more from the first mini series so I could sit back and just enjoy where the characters were going. In that regards, it is similar to the show Monk. After watching several seasons on DVD, I find myself very familiar with Adrian Monk and I can laugh when I see the situation that he is going to be put in, and the same thing happened with Alan Sirois and Mr. Bloomberg.

The new artist is Joe Eisma, and he does a good job in visualizing some of the subtle moments with Mr. Bloomberg. At one point, he squares off with another dummy and it is simply priceless. Jason and Joe make a great creative team because the comic reads like a systematic volleyball game. Jason sets up the plays and Joe spikes them to the other team. Joe’s transition as the new artist is an easy one. His art is very similar to Ron Chan’s from the previous mini series that you hardly notice it. I don’t like to see widely different art styles used on a comic, so it is good to see some consistency.

It is kind of hard for me to review the art on any comic since I am not some art critic and it is especially harder for me to review this comic since Joe is a friend of mine, but I feel I must say something. To that avail, I will say that some of the arms on the character look kind of funny. Like something is amiss that I can’t quite place my finger on. It is a very small thing to point out, but it is about the only thing that I can see as a negative. For a first full series to draw, I think Joe does a pretty good job. The story telling is very well done and didn’t leave me confused at all. So that is huge compliment as far as it comes from me.

Overall, I dug the first issue and I think it sets things up nicely for the remaining issues of the mini series. I am looking forward to my comic debut in issue four where I buy the farm. I strongly encourage anyone who likes a little action/mystery/comedy in their comics to check the series out. You won’t be disappointed.

A Dummy’s Guide to Danger: Lost at Sea
Writer: Jason M. Burns
Art: Joe Eisma
Viper Comics
Released March 2008
Diamond Order Code: JAN083950