Wednesday, September 5, 2018

The Ideal Copy

The Ideal Copy is the third book in the Double+ universe I have read, and it is truly amazing to me how Ben Sears manages to create phenomenal all ages comics. In this book, our heroes Plus Man and his robot pal Hank lose their jobs as treasure hunters because they refuse to raid the house of a dead man. Left with little other prospects, the duo eventually take jobs as caterers. Because they are hardworking, they do well serving food and washing dishes. However, at a ritzy hotel gala for a fraternity of weird, obnoxious guys who all have the same haircut and wear the same clothes, they suspect some foul play.

After some snooping around, Plus Man uncovers a nefarious counterfeiting scheme that gets further complicated when a blizzard traps everyone at the hotel. There is a growing cast of characters who get embroiled in this situation, including a little child actor named Mickey who is surprisingly resourceful, and Gene, a grizzled, ex-treasure hunter who sports an eye-patch. Together, this motley bunch takes on the plot with surprising results. There are captures, thrills, and more than enough hi-jinx to keep them and the reader occupied.

As I hope you can see from this short excerpt, The Ideal Copy is a book of beautiful rhythms. The dialogue is snappy and clever. The artwork is gorgeously detailed and geometrical. The colors are vibrant and pop. The characters are complicated and wonderfully unpredictable. Ben Sears is a virtuoso who weaves all these elements together into a sumptuous visual symphony. I loved the derring-do, caper aspects of the plot, and I am very happy to read the note at the end that this duo's adventures will continue. This third book is the best of the bunch, in my opinion, and I am thrilled for more.

All of the reviews I have read about this book have been positive. Rob Clough had much praise for the book and declared it "the best of the three volumes." Tom Baker called it "rip-roaring rib-tickling romp." Ryan Carey opined, "Ben Sears is a cartoonist who intrinsically understands what younger readers want in a story, but the tent he’s hosting his party in a big one, and there’s plenty of room in it for us old-timers, too." Mel Schuit was more lukewarm and wrote, "All in all, fans looking for more of the trademarked Plus-Man-and-Hank antics we saw in the first two books in the series might find The Ideal Copy slightly lacking, but it’s a nice effort on Sears’ part to flesh out his human characters further and begin to hint at events further down the line in the series."

And in case you are interested, my reviews of the past Double+ books are here and here.

The Ideal Copy was published by Koyama Press, and they offer more information and a preview here.

I saw Sears this year at HeroesCon, where I bought this book from him, and he was nice enough to sign it and also draw a sketch. He's a great guy!

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