Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Max Hamm, Fairy Tale Detective, by Frank Cammuso

Max Hamm, Fairy Tale Detective, by Frank Cammuso. Syracuse, NY: Nite Owl Comics, 2005. ISBN-10: 0972006141; ISBN-13: 978-0972006149. 208 p.

Plot Summary
Max Hamm is a detective in a noir version of Storybook Land. Populated by characters from nursery rhymes and fairy tales, the town is run by Ma Goose and the Grimm Brothers. Hamm (a pig) runs the Hamm & Eggs Detective Agency with Humpty Dumpty. Max investigates the grisly death of his partner and a tale of intrigue involving Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and Snow White.

Critical Evaluation
A mixture of comic book and graphic novel, this pick will delight reluctant readers who like mysteries. Written in the style of Dick Francis and the Maltese Falcon, Hamm's terrible puns and jokes will make anyone laugh. Example: "My not so hardboiled partner had an accident. When I got the joint, there he was, sunny-side up." The puns work well with the story and aren't overdone. An enjoyable read.

Author Information
Frank Cammuso graduated from Syracuse University in 1987 with a BFA in Illustration. He has been a political cartoonist for the Syracuse, NY Post-Standard for the past 20 years, and his cartoons have also appeared in the New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Today, and Newsweek. His satire collaborations with Hart Seely have appeared in various publications, including The New Yorker, The Village Voice, Slate, and NPR. The comic book series Max Hamm, Fairy Tale Detective was nominated for the Eisner Award in the category of "Talent Deserving of Wider Recognition." He lives with his wife and family in Syracuse, NY, and blogs irregularly at http://www.cammuso.com/blog/

Graphic novel, comic book, mystery.


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