The intrepid detectives of yesteryear, the ‘Hardy Boys’ and ‘Nancy Drew’, hit the stands in a new avatar as graphic novels
The ever so youthful yet always maturing detective brothers The Hardy Boys are back to solve the labyrinth mysteries, only this time it’s not in paperback. Papercutz, an American publication agency released a set of Hardy Boys graphic novels. The series is based on the characters of the original creator of the teen crime thriller franchise Franklin W. Dixon, however, the graphic novels are written by Scott Lobdell of the Uncanny X-Men fame. Lea Hernandez who previously worked on projects like “Marvel Mangaverse: The Punisher” and D.C Comics’ critically acclaimed series “Transmetropolitan” has done the illustrations for the graphic novels.
This revamped version of the Hardys will certainly give a boost to the franchise which has been suffering a deadlock situation in the recent past. The stories focus on the two teenage crime-fighters who use modern-day technology to outwit and battle criminals.
Old allies like Chet Morton will be returning and readers will also get a sense of the Hardys’ personal lives as on most cases, they team up with their soul mates, Callie Shaw and Iola Morton.
The first issue of this series is entitled “The Ocean of Osyria”, originally released in 2005, sees Frank and Joe together with girlfriends Callie and Iola in search of a Mid-Eastern art treasure.
The Hardys have to focus on rescuing their friend Chet Morton, who has been falsely accused for buying the artefact in an online auction.
This edition will definitely be a favourite among the fans as it takes the dark-haired Frank and the blond Joe on a mission all around the world.
The other Hardy Boys graphic novel titles include “Identity Theft”, “Mad House”, “Malled”, “Sea You Sea Me”, ““Dude Ranch O’ Death” and “The Deadliest Stunt”.
The titian-haired girl detective, Nancy Drew, also receives similar treatment as she too transcends paperback and has been given a new life as a graphic novel. Originally created in the early 1930’s as the cocky, 16-year old sleuth, in her new manga based avatar is a fun, sassy, modern-day teen who is still hot on the heels of criminals.
Also released in 2005, by Papercutz, the new series was written by Stefan Petrucha, who gave us the brilliant Time Hunter novella “The Tunnel at the End of the Light” and illustrated in the Japanese style of Manga artwork by Sho Murase, who previously worked on the Zuda Comics’ web-based comic, “Raining Cats and Dogs”. The series is edited by Jim Salicrup who worked on Marvel’s Spider-Man series.
The new series takes an entirely different spin on Nancy Drew’s character as the series sees Nancy as a more modern teen with access to a trusty hybrid car, and friend George Fayne’s tablet PC.
The Nancy Drew Graphic Novel Series includes titles like “The Demon of River Heights,” “Writ in Stone,” “The Haunted Dollhouse,” and “Sleight of Dan.”
The books are being introduced in India by Eurobooks and are priced at a reasonable Rs.145 for the full colour, 96 page graphic novel.
There are also three-in-one issues, priced at Rs. 350, of these graphic novels that come in handy for those long trips and vacation readings.
As unimaginable as it may sound, the graphic novels are receiving rave reviews and re-introducing the much loved boys from Bayport and Miss Drew to an entirely new generation of readers.
Even comic book aficionados are slowly picking up copies all over the world.AKSHAY RAJMOHAN