Cammuso says he is a "two-bit cartoonist," but, actually, he is an award-winning political humorist who's published in line and prose all over the place. He's got the chops to parody, spot-on, big-studio animated cartoons, Golden Books-style illustration and layout, and hard-boiled-detective patter. And his rendering of his hero seems to give a tip o' the pencil to Pogo.0 Max Hamm is a PI and a pig--literally. He used to have a partner, Humpty Dumpty (hence Hamm and Eggs Detective Agency). Then Humpty turned sunny-side up outside King Cole's Supper Club: "Witnesses said he was pickled," but "something smelled rotten." So opens "The Big Sheep," Max's first case here, involving a certain Bo Peep and some missing livestock. Soon Peep's gone, too, afraid, it seems, that "she'd end up with egg on her face." Someone tries to pull the wool over his eyes, but Max and justice prevail. In the three-times-longer "The Long Ever After" (Chandlerphiles may note a pattern in Cammuso's titles), Max investigates the murder of Prince Charming by, the cops think, Snow White, the charmer's spouse. With a much bigger cast than in "Sheep," the wordplay burgeons, too. Present action in both stories is relayed in angular, high-contrast comics; flashbacks appear storybook fashion, with ragged-right-margined prose encroaching on otherwise full-page illustrations; both styles are full of the canted angles, deep-focus effects, and shadows of film noir. Dee-licious! --Ray Olson Copyright 2005 Booklist
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review
His name is Max Hamm, and he's the private gumshoe hired to dig out answers from the seedy underbelly of Storybookland in this charming, lavishly illustrated pastiche of the hard-boiled genre and nursery rhymes. A diminutive porcine Mike Hammer, Max is more than able to handle the plethora of tough guys and sizzling, deceptive broads who cross his path. In "The Big Sheep" Hamm investigates the suspicious demise of his partner, Humpty Dumpty, and discovers a web of intrigue involving Bo Peep, Mother Goose, Little Boy Blue and a flock of extremely disgruntled sheep. In the longer "The Long Ever After" Hamm is hired by old flame Snow White to discover the identity of the owner of a lost glass slipper. Tragic romance, sleazy extramarital shenanigans, shocking family secrets and a galaxy of tarnished storybook stars collide in this tightly written yarn. Cammuso's artwork expertly straddles the line between stark black-and-white comics art and lush animation-influenced wash illustrations akin to those found in children's books. Though it travels well-worn territory, this clever mix is solid entertainment and the Little Golden Book-inspired format is just icing on the cake. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
School Library Journal Review
Gr 8 Up-In this throwback to the pulp-novels and film-noir era, porcine detective Max Hamm is a combination of Sam Spade and Porky Pig. In the first story, âÇ£The Big Sheep,âÇ he unearths scandal and deceit involving the murder of his partner, Humpty Dumpty. âÇ£The Long Ever AfterâÇ is a carefully woven tale of intrigue surrounding Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, and Cinderella. The characters communicate in pun-filled dialogue that works well with the story, and is not overdone. Typical graphic-novel panels alternate with a layout more typically found in picture books, a convention Cammuso employs to bring a solid juxtaposition of text and illustration to the book. Many fairy tales are referenced, and the concept of combining them with this setting results in a truly enjoyable plot. Readers of both comics and graphic novels will relish this volume.-Jennifer Feigelman, Plattekill Public Library, Modena, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. All rights reserved.
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.