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Return of the Dapper Men Hardcover – November 30, 2010


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Hardcover, November 30, 2010
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Product Details

  • Series: Return of the Dapper Men
  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Archaia; 1st edition (November 30, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1932386904
  • ISBN-13: 978-1932386905
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 9.8 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #520,321 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Classic surreal fiction like Alice in Wonderland is difficult to copy because it effortlessly combines the imagination of a child with the mature artistry of an adult writer. This imaginative fantasy strives to achieve the same effect and is, for the most part, a success, thanks in no small part to Lee's magnificent illustrations. It is a tale of a world without time or progress, inhabited only by children who never grow up and robots. Together, a human boy named Ayden and a robot girl named Zoe work to fix the broken world and teach their close-minded peers the importance of change. Their helper in this task is a whimsical, dapper man, a sort of "Cat in the Hat" mercurial hero. It is a fun ensemble though the dialogue occasionally overdoes the exposition. While the theme, as it is presented, is an abstract one for younger readers, it works in an impressionistic way; the lush artwork is easy to get lost in, and the fantastical setting and atmosphere create a unique background for a timeless parable about time. Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


From Booklist

*Starred Review* This beguiling graphic novel joins the likes of Shaun Tan�s The Arrival (2007) and John Harris Dunning and Nikhil Singh�s Salem Brownstone (2010) as a book that is so immediately distinctive that it promises a unique reading experience�and more than delivers. In the dreamy land of Anorev, children, all under age 11, live underground among intricate gear-work mechanisms, while elegant robots live in abandoned houses aboveground: �Neither children nor machines knew which was work nor what was play, and neither seemed to be any fun or any use.� All are perpetually stuck in the same day, and time has, essentially, ceased to mean anything�until 314 Dapper Men rain from the sky and set in motion the impetus for change. The sometimes slippery-to-grasp story plays around with classic Peter Pan themes, obliquely delivering the message that childhood is not something to hold in limbo; it can only find meaning and value in moving forward, in growing and changing and looking to tomorrow as much as revering today. But where this book truly stands out is how well the story works in concert with Lee�s stunning artwork, which employs an art nouveau sheen. Arresting layouts give the book an ethereal, timeless quality and turn each page into a frameworthy work of art. A true dazzler that speaks on multiple levels for both child and adult readers and one that gets richer with each read. Grades 4-8. --Ian Chipman

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Customer Reviews

Somewhere between like and love.
sallythetimid
The story is overflowing with style, and the characters are ripe with personality, but you also get the feeling that this could be a story about you.
C. King
The illustrations are stunning and perfectly enhance the book.
Norman Cook

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Beth on November 24, 2010
Format: Hardcover
The art in this book is breathtakingly gorgeous! There are so many pages I wish I could frame and hang on my wall. The book is slightly larger than most graphic novels, which showcases the art nicely.

The story is great as well. I'm a fan of Jim McCann's work at Marvel, but I didn't know what to expect from an all ages book. This work is a bit of a steampunk fairytale. I loved the characters and the world. I will definitely be rereading this.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By DelusionalAngel VINE VOICE on February 21, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As a big kid who prefers Young Adult books and comic books generally... As someone who still buys toys, for herself... etc. Well, it's not often that my mom pipes in to let me know I've made a made a mistake. No, not in making a purchase. Instead she wanted to let me know I had it sent to the wrong house. Mine. I clearly meant to send it to her house when I ordered this one. She took one look at the preview of this one and decided comics aren't all bad. Needless to say, she somehow magically does have it on the way to her door as well. I don't think she'll be disappointed.

This is definitely a book for kids of all ages. Whether it's comics you love. Or art. Or getting lost in a world that makes no sense. I happen to love all of these things, which caused a real dilemma. I'd read a panel but ooh now I have to exam the art closely and maybe re-read the panel after really looking at the art so closely. Yeah, it's that kind of a book. There are enough recaps of the story itself available, that I'll spare you that in my review.

I will say that it's also beautifully bound (hardcover is all that is available as I write this), reminiscent of an older style of book, and for a price I often see much lesser paperbacks sell for.

Definitely a must have if you love this medium or if you need that one comic to prove to someone that yes, there's even one for THEM, like my mom....
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By GraphicNovelReporter.com on January 26, 2011
Format: Hardcover
An epic fairy tale that's as vividly imaginative as it is wonderfully drawn, Return of the Dapper Men is a magical treat. Set in a world where children who never age past 11 coexist peacefully with robots, it's a bright, sprawling tale that seems to ramble far from where it started without ever feeling as though it has stumbled even a step out of its way.

The first thing you'll notice about the book are its awe-inspiring illustrations, which practically seem to jump off the page. The colors too are the star. They're wild and fierce, creating a 3D tone throughout. Or maybe it seems as though you're reading a wonderful animated movie that has magically come to life on the printed page. Either way, you know you're in for a stunning visual treat.

Jim McCann (author of Hawkeye and Mockingbird) imbues his tale with a lot of wonder. There are a multitude of nods to the imaginative world of a child's mind. But from there, he builds and expands in a host of unexpected ways. When a human boy and a robot girl team up to impart change to this bizarre world and to show how growing, aging, and more can be positive things, they bring about the return of 314 very well dressed men. And once the title of the book makes its appearance in the story, you've been hooked. You'll eagerly await the unfolding of the rest of this unique, utterly creative story.

-- John Hogan
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Fahad A. Naeem on January 6, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This book can be summed up in two words: pure brilliance. Jim McCann and Janet Lee spun a wonderful, intricate tale that keeps you entirely engaged from the first page to the last. The story is definitely not one your run of the mill type Fantasy works; it really excels beyond that. There is a great amount of depth, symbolism, and social commentary presented in the book when you truly dig into the details. The artwork sets each page off like a fire cracker. I have never seen artwork done with so much care and so much brilliance as Janet Lee has done in this graphic novel. Let me put this simply, go buy this wonderful book or forever hold your peace. Original graphic novels are a rare treat, and this is one not to be missed by any one.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By MARIOLIO on January 1, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I received this gorgeous book for the holidays!! Return of The Dapper Men proved to be one of the most imaginative and original sci-fi fantasy graphic novels I have read in years. An instant classic. Jim McCann's fertile imagination transports you to a world of children's dreams and adult sophistication that is rarely seen in todays books. The illustrations by Janet Lee transcend comic book art to an elevated ART that fully realizes the story in a way that could only be described as genius. From the moment I opened this beautiful hard bound book I knew that it was special. I highly recommend this book for anyone who has an appreciation for original sci fi books and artistry for the written word. You'll be proud to have this novel in your collection. -Mariolio
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By coleslaw on November 28, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This book is a modern, yet nostalgic morality tale. It is beautifully written and drawn. It is a deceptively mesmerizingly deep tapestry for adults to discover, and a magic world for children to escape to.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Norman Cook on September 22, 2011
Format: Hardcover
The Eisner Awards honor comics' best and brightest, given as part of the annual San Diego Comic-Con. The Best Graphic Album category of the Eisners is the comics industry's highest honor. This year, for the first time, there were two winners: Jim McCann and Janet Lee's Return of the Dapper Men (published by Archaia) and Dan Clowes's Wilson (published by Drawn & Quarterly).

Return of the Dapper Men is ostensibly a children's book, but as with all classic children's literature its appeal knows no age boundaries. Adults will enjoy the subtext, literary allusions, and amazing artwork, while children will enjoy a colorful, quirky story filled with wonderful characters. Neither adults nor children will understand the complete package, but all will have a fun ride. No less than fashion guru Tim Gunn provides the introduction, so you know this is a book that will appeal to a mainstream audience.

In Anorev (Verona spelled backwards, the first of many literate references) time has stopped and all that remain are children under eleven years old. A boy named Ayden and his mute, female robot friend Zoe wander and wonder about the aboveground world, while the rest of the children play forever underground among the machine gears which work without rest. Then, the dapper men with their umbrellas and bowler hats literally descend upon Anorev, and life begins to change. One particular dapper man, speaking in riddles, helps guide Ayden and Zoe to their destinies.

Be prepared to become lost in a world that doesn't always make sense, but be reassured that the journey will ultimately be successful. With nods to Mary Poppins, Alice in Wonderland, Pinocchio, and other classic fables, this is a completely original tale of exploration, diversity, and philosophy.
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