When you’re at the comic book store this week, look for The Answer! OK, I was just itching to say that. Honestly though, The Answer! from Dark Horse Comics, by Dennis (the man with the darkest last name) Hopeless and Mike Norton is really good – except for one small problem that I will talk about later. While still milking the fantasy archetype of the sexy librarian, the writing for The Answer! doesn’t get lost in tropes of the character type by either making it too stereotypically flat or by having unnecessary flesh-peddling scenes. The Answer! does what all good writing does by using the easily recognizable and developing a strong story around it.
So what’s interesting about the characters in The Answer!? Hopeless uses details about his protagonist, Devin McKenzie that are represented visually and interwoven with her profession to make her seem like an actual person. For instance, there are several pages of essentially internal dialogue where McKenzie says something about herself as she contemplates the relationship she has with her own mother. As this is all happening, she watches Jeopardy on TV as she finishes a crossword puzzle and eventually moves onto a puzzle gifted to her by her mother. Now, don’t think that The Answer! is boring because of all of these crazy details, the book actually starts with a literal cliffhanger that Spider-Man would have enjoyed.
So, what’s the problem that I talked about earlier? Well, Dark Horse Comics and Hopeless missed out on a crazy-cool modern marketing opportunity. I’ve seen this kind of massive failure before and I find it completely unacceptable. Hopeless wrote a URL, entertheapeiron.net into the story and it is visually seen in at least one panel. But when I go there, the site does not exist. Boo! The cost of a site is pretty small these days, less than $10 and building a site is not all that hard – besides, the site doesn’t have to much more than a forward to the page on the Dark Horse Comics site where they feature The Answer! All said and done though, The Answer! is worth going to your local comic book store and asking about.