The Webcomicker

Who watches the watchmen?

Sunday, August 21, 2005

And you just know the cute one with the heart on his chest is the most powerful of them all.

A clever plot twist from Dandy & Company
Ugh, so many things to write about, and so little internet connection to do it with. Moving sucks. Hopefully I'll have the internet running in my apartment within the next few days and then I'll be able to actually do some consistent writing for this site. But anyways...
The thing that's always amazed me about Dandy & Company is the sheer amount of artwork which Derrick Fish manages to cram into each strip. The first part of this amazement has to do with the fact that Mr. Fish does a strip every day, Monday through Friday, and it's not even his full-time job, so you'd expect a certain degree of simplicity to the strip or even some short cuts via reusing backgrounds, character poses, etc, but it's pretty clear even after reading the strip for only a few days that he doesn't do this. I don't know how he keeps up his schedule without having his hand fall off.
The second part of my amazement is how Fish actually manages to CRAM that much artwork into such a limited size. Clearly he's trying to make a "newspaper format" strip, the type of strip that if it ever did hit it big could be very easily be printed in a daily newspaper with little to no reformatting needed. But at the same time he fills each individual strip with an amount of line art more suited for a comic book or graphic novel. Sometimes I just wish he'd ditch the "strip" format entirely and make full use of the freedom which can come from using a full page, because I can just visualize how beautiful of a comic Dandy and Company could become. But hey, it's his comic, so it's his choice.
And that brings us to today's comic, which is as much an artistic tour de force as it is a novel development in the storyline. As everyone knows from Beanie Quest II, Dandy is immune to harm when Bernard is wearing the Cosmic Beanie. And, as it turns out, it doesn't matter which Bernard (good or evil) is wearing it, the effect is the same. Well, now in Beanie Quest III we have the Evil Bernard in control of the Cosmic Beanie and basically wreaking havoc however he sees fit with the heroes unable to stop him using brute force. So, what do you do if brute force isn't working? The same thing the U.S. government always does... GET MORE BRUTE FORCE. If one indestructible dog isn't going to stop the bad guys, why not get a million indestructible dogs?
To me, this plot twist is vaguely reminscent of the old LucasArts game "Day of the Tentacle", in which Purple Tentacle takes over the world by using a time machine to retrieve thousands of copies of himself from different instances of history, but I know Derrick Fish is a big fan of traditional superhero comics, so most likely he got the idea from a parallel universe storyline in one of them (I seem to recall a Spider-man story arc in which ten or so Spider-men from alternate universes get together and fight together against Venom or someone...). Still, it's hardly a cliche plot device and I think Fish pulls it off quite well here by not merely having a bunch of copies of the same Dandy, but actually having different Dandys (Dandies?) popping into the scene. We've got the Care Bears Dandy, Muppets Dandy, a couple of Old School Dandys, a Sprite Dandy, Anime-style Dandy, and of course, to top it all off the super-mega-mecha-fighting-robot Dandy. And of course, the original Dandy makes an off the cuff wisecrack remark, reminding us all once again just why he's the star of the strip and everyone else is just "& Company".
The Beanie Quests have always been the highlights of Dandy and Company, and Derrick Fish knows it, so who can blame him for going over the top as much as possible with each one? Not I. I'm loving it. I just look forward to next week, when all the Dandys make their attack. I'm sure Evil Bernard will not go down easily, so it'll be a fight to write home about.
Gold star for Derrick Fish! Yay!


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