As regular Scoop readers know, during the disruption caused by the COVID-19 virus, we’ve featured reviews of individual back issues, runs, collected editions, and original graphic novels that captured and held our attention over the long haul. Now that “new comics Wednesday” has returned in some form for many around the country, we’ve decided to continue including great older comics among our features. Remember, once your store is open, checking out their back issue bins or bookshelves is a great way to #BackTheComeback.

Max Hamm, Fairy Tale Detective
Night Owl Comix; $14.95

Max Hamm is an impeccable blend of the hardboiled private eye genre and fairy tales. This kind of mix only works when the creator knows and loves both types of fiction, and Frank Cammuso pulls it off with deceptive ease in this collection.

The “present day” material is related in traditional panel-to-panel comics, but the flashbacks drop into classic children’s storybook format. The illustrations are superb and the text is spot on. Don’t think it’d work? You’re wrong. Not only does it work, it does so brilliantly.

If you can imagine fairy tale characters populating film noir standards, you’re most of the way there. This trade paperback collects not only multi-part tale, The Long Ever After, but also The Big Sheep, the first Max Hamm book. Do yourself a favor and track this one down.

– J.C. Vaughn