Caleb Orecchio here with thoughts on Ben Sear’s latest Double+ Adventure, Ideal Copy.
Often people will compare Ben Sears’ Double+ stories to comics like Tintin or Dragon Ball, and I could even make a convincing comparison to Miyazaki’s first feature Castle of Cagliostro with this new installment; but I see a true spaghetti western influence in Ben’s work. The heroes are treasure hunters not “bounty killers,” but they bring in bad guys for cash. The “sidekick” Hank may be a robot, but is as vital to Plus Man as a horse is to any drifter roaming the American West by way of Italian sets and Spanish locations. There’s a character that is introduced in the new book, Ideal Copy (published be the great Koyama Press), that really gives off a Lee Van Cleef in Death Rides a Horse vibe (the old, reticent veteran with a score to settle).
I enjoy all of Ben’s work, but Ideal Copy was a particularly fun issue for me. The story moves along at a pleasurably steady pace. Read. Laugh. Turn the page. Repeat. I think the way the author builds objects within his world interestingly plays a part in this seamless rhythm. It is as if everything is made of thick, malleable Legos that can be rearranged to make anything. Everything has this chunky, charming structure and the designs throughout the book don’t deviate from this visual idea. For example, there are no sleek, chrome muscle cars next to bulky cube-based cars. Every object within the world stands sturdily together. The result is nearly one-hundred percent great despite the occasional action sequence that doesn’t quite read perfectly due to color choices when conveying depth, but overall the blockiness of the environment that fills the Double+ Adventures feels limitless. Sears is the ultimate gamer in his very own Minecraft-of-the-mind, and I really have a ball touring it.
I really want to come back to my point about the spaghetti western comparison, and go off the deep end and compare Ideal Copy with Sergio Corbucci’s film The Great Silence and how they mirror one another’s, not only environmental hazards but, subtextual theme of struggling against fascistic entities…but I think I’ll save that one for another time. I’m just happy that Ben has consistently put out a good book every year for the last three years (not to mention the minis before and in between). Here’s to many more! Cheers!
Frank Santoro‘s new book – Pittsburgh – is now available from Editions çà et là!
You find out how to obtain a copy here in the States – HERE – on our site.
While you’re there, takes some time to read some thoughtful French reviews featured therein. We’ve gone through the trouble to (Google) translate them for our fellow English-speaking readers. Check it out!
Suzy and Cecil – 6-4-18 – by Sally Ingraham