Posted: Saturday, April 14
By: Ray Tate
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"Bat's What I'm Afraid Of"
Writer: Brett Lewis, Scott Cunningham
Artist: Joe Staton, Karen Machette (p), Karen Machette, Dave Hunt(i), Paul Becton(c)
Plot: Bats almost entertainment folks.
While Brett Lewis uses the village under siege plot to good effect and comes up with an inventive motive, the story fails in its use of fruit bats as a disguise for the vampire species. There's no excuse nowadays for poor research when volumes of free information is but a click away. Fruit bats or Flying Foxes do not use echolocation. They prey on fruit. Fruit, brace yourself, does not move. Fruit bats, like humans, possess excellent stereoscopic vision. Were this mistake a mere aside instead of a plot point, I would mention it only in passing.
Joe Staton also must take a few lumps for poor research. His bats with their pushed up noses and big ears look like vampire bats, but fruit bats have doggy faces, snouts and smaller ears: remember, they don't hunt via echolocation. Am I to think that the miscreants behind the scheme attached to each bat a tiny mask?
Both creators do redeem themselves. Daphne is a scream. She spots a clue on page two, throughout the mystery looks delectable and actually seems to be in serious danger when the bats attack. Naturally, Daph stoutly surpasses her fear to be her usual valuable, competent self.
In the second mystery, Karen Machette pencils the Gang in a sort of Calvin and Hobbes comic strip form while inking in a style common in among the underground genre. Her technique is never aesthetically unappealing, but it is different from the dead-on Joe Staton, Dan Spiegle classics. The real problem I have with the story is Freddie's use of a bear trap to snare the "ghost." That's the kind of bloodthirsty behavior I expect from Richard Wentworth a.k.a. The Spider.
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