Daily Archives: 13 February 2012

Jim McCann and Janet Lee’s Return of the Dapper Men

Jim McCann and Janet Lee, Return of the Dapper Men (Archaia Entertainment 2010)

This is a kind of steampunk fairy tale graphic novel, self-consciously beautiful to the extent that it includes an appendix explaining its decoupage technique. I found it visually boring if not outright repulsive, and was left cold by the story, which involves a city, or perhaps a whole world, where time has stopped but starts again when hundreds of identical ‘dapper men’ float down from the sky, a mute mechanical angel that somehow brings harmony, an elliptical message about destiny, and strangely empty allusions (the city is Anorev, Verona in reverse, but why?).

It was a generous and thoughtful Christmas present, but I guess I’m just not part of the target audience.