Caught My Eye: A Dummy’s Guide to Danger Volume 1

Guest Post

For the most part, every single idea that you can think of has already been thought of by someone else. Sadly, that’s just the way it is. So what else is left? Well, you can take a traditional idea and think of a hook that hasn’t been thought of yet and run with it. A Dummy’s Guide to Danger does just that, and does it well.

A Dummy’s Guide to Danger is a miniseries written by Jason M. Burns, drawn by Ron Chan, and published by small-press publisher Viper Comics. I recently picked up this series in its newly collected digest form at Wizard World Texas at the insistence of a good friend of mine, Joe Eisma (who happens to be drawing this title’s sequel.) The trade dress of the digest caught my eye and since Joe has a similar taste in comics as me, I decided to give it a try.

At the core of A Dummy’s Guide to Danger, you have a murder/mystery comic with a pinch of gore and a dash of comedy. Basically the makings of a fun guy movie that doesn’t take itself too seriously and is intended to entertain versus enlighten. The basic plot of this series follows a private investigator named Alan Sirois and his partner Mr. Bloomberg as they attempt to track down a gruesome killer by the name of the Flesh Collector. The catch is that Alan’s partner is not actually alive and is, in fact, a ventriloquist’s dummy. Now you see what I was referring to when I mentioned the hook!

Alan Sirois believes his partner is a living breathing man who just happens to be a paraplegic, and that his handicap is really his [Alan’s] fault. The concept is not something you would see in real life, but one that you wish you’d see. Naturally, no one believes that Mr. Bloomberg is alive except for Alan, but they kind of humor Alan by playing along. What makes the book even funnier is that Mr. Bloomberg is quite comical and has a rather twisted sense of humor. There will be some pretty shocking scenes, and out of no where Mr. Bloomberg will pop off a smartass remark that comes across rather bluntly. He is also the more street-smart individual in the team and usually offers up sound advice to Alan, which he then ignores. The two characters’ interactions – as well as how everyone reacts to the detective team – is the greatest thing about the book. Reading this comic is like watching a mixture of the television shows My Name Is Earl and Monk. It just works.

The art is very well done and is nice and crisp. This is Ron Chan’s first full series, but you couldn’t tell it. His story-telling ability is quite developed; he guides you through all the scenes and panels without losing you. Also, his character designs are really good. He makes each character unique and stand out so you don’t get confused while reading, so I definitely want to give him some kudos for that. The coloring works really well for the series as well. From looking at the digest, I only see Ron Chan on art, so I assume he did the coloring as well.

Overall, A Dummy’s Guide to Danger is just a fun little miniseries. It has just the right amount of mystery, action and humor that I feel most comics should have. Viper Comics, Jason M. Burns and Ron Chan are on my radar now for future comics. If you want a little more information regarding the series or would like to order either the issues or the digest-sized collection, they can be found at Viper Comics.

A Dummy’s Guide to Danger
Writer: Jason M. Burns
Art: Ron Chan
Letters: Greg Gatlin
Viper Comics
Released 2006