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The Dead Boy Detectives Paperback – July 1, 2005

3.3 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Ghosts Edwin Paine and Charles Rowland, introduced in Neil Gaiman's fourth Sandman opus, Season of Mists (1994), and featured in Thompson's At Death's Door (2003), are still avoiding Death and still finding time to run their own detective agency. Their latest case brings them stateside to a girls' boarding school in Chicago. While undercover, they work their way through the clues to find an absent classmate. They and their new friends at the school suspect the worst, and the teachers' mysterious attitude about the missing girl isn't helping. Thompson's cute art, distinctive while remaining within traditional manga-anime conventions, fits a story full of well-written over-the-top screwball comedy and featuring cameo appearances by Death and the Sandman. Sandman series fans may be a little disappointed (it's too cute), but manga mavens will be in heaven. Tina Coleman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

About the Author

Jill Thompson has worked widely throughout the comic industry. She has pencilled issues of The Invisibles, Sandman and Wonder Woman, to name but a few. She has also written a series called Scary Godmother for Sirius comics, which is currently being adapted for animation. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Vertigo (July 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401203132
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401203139
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.4 x 7.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,514,266 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Dead Boy Detectives follows two boy ghosts, one deceased in a bit before WWI, and the other deceased in the 1990s, as they run a "dectective agency". The ghosts are only visible to children and to a few adults, which comes in handy when solving mysteries. Here, they go to an all-girls academy to search for a missing best-friend of one of the girls. This involves going undercover as girls, and dealing with crushes given and received (completely crushes for some comic effect - nothing poignant or for any other purpose than comic relief).

The search for the missing girl unfolds well. Teachers' quirks are explored. Girls not in the same circle of friends fit into stereotype personalities, while the clic the boys are in gets developed. The art here was a nice touch. It's nice in the sense of flowing well and dropping detail when appropriate.

So, things are moving along nicely... and then the last maybe fifth of the book delivers the missing girl and gets the ghosts back to their home-base in London with an abrupt deus-ex-machina ending. It's very tacked on and doesn't relate to the rest of the book, so it doesn't so much solve a mystery as put things in place to start the next book.

This is a decent read if you have easy access to a copy, but it's all a bit soft, so don't go looking hard to find it.
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Format: Paperback
Jill Thompson, The Dead Boy Detectives (Vertigo, 2005)

Thompson gives us another riff on Sandman, as she did in Death's Door the year before. This time, we get an adventure from two relatively minor characters from A Season of Mists, a pair of young ghost detectives who head off to Chicago to solve the mystery of a missing schoolgirl. When they get there, they find out it's an all-girl school. Wackiness ensues. Thompson's manga-style art is appealing, and while the ending is at least somewhat predictable (as are Thompson's constant jabs at anachronism, here extended to both characters rather than having them play off one another as Gaiman did), Thompson manages to throw in yet another pop-culture twist that's liable to floor the reader. Ultimately a minor Sandman spinoff, but an enjoyable one nonetheless. *** ½
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Not what I expected. Not much happens, and non-supernatural storyline (dead boys, aside, that is).
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Format: Paperback
Though it's hardly up to the epic storytelling of the Sandman series that inspired it, Jill Thompson's little spin-off title is a quirky, enjoyable, and affordable read.
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