Sasquatch Detective’s journey from improv comedy sketch to comics continues, taking a long, gangly step out of backup stories and into her own special.
Sasquatch Detective Special #1 is based around Tonya Lightfoot, a cop who also happens to be a sasquatch. Originally created by Brandee Stilwell and used in improv comedy performances, Sasquatch Detective debuted in comics as a back up story in Exit Stage Left: The Snagglepuss Chronicles. The special starts with an origin story for Tonya Lightfoot, drawn by Ron Randall. The rest of the special is made up of the stories that were published in Exit Stage Left, with the art provided by Gus Vazquez.
Sasquatch Detective is the first set of comics that Stilwell has had published. The concept is fun and different enough to stand out, and Stilwell does a great job in terms of writing amusing stories that fill the niche for gentle comedy antics. There are some really great jokes, and there are enough jokes that everyone will find something for them. The backup stories show some occasional disconnect between the dialogue and the art, which can be a little jarring. For example, dialogue in some panels refers to the next panel, or there are confusing panels where it’s assumed that the art will explain what is going on. You can see the progress that Stilwell has made by comparing the backup stories to the newer origin story, where those issues are gone. One thing that doesn’t help is that the price point is quite high for a book based on a character that most people will be unfamiliar with.
The two art styles in the special are pretty different but they both suit the story. It’s interesting to see the difference that changing the colorist makes in the backup stories, contrasting Chris Sotomayor’s brighter colors with Ross Campbell’s work. Randall’s work perfectly suits the origin story with his character work on the Sasquatches and the natural surroundings being a perfect fit. Vazquez’s work suits the urban settings of the backup stories and both have some great panel layouts. Having Ross Campbell’s colors on the origin story and the earlier stories helps to tie the book together.