B. Clay Moore and Steven Griffin’s Hawaiian Dick series (published by Image Comics) was hyped up to me by a friend that I share an affinity for great comic books and Tiki culture with. He suggested I pick it up, I did and I’m pretty damned pleased that this trade paperback is now in my comic book library. In fact, I’ve already ordered the second volume because this one had me wanting more.
The writing was superb and completely refreshing. What we have here is not typical superhero comics. Hawaiian Dick is a noir tale that is merged with Tiki culture. It follows a private investigator named Byrd, who has moved to Hawaii to take odd cases while escaping his life on the mainland. While on the case, Byrd discovers that the mythology and folklore of the Hawaiian Islands is very much true and this adds a supernatural element that takes this strange Tiki noir tale to some pretty awesome places.
The story is short but it is sweet and straight to the point, not made up of a lot of filler and uninteresting secondary characters. It reads like a really good hour long detective show. In fact, I could see this being an ongoing series on television. I guess, Moore and Griffin would have to make it an ongoing series in comic book form first. There haven’t been a lot of issues since the first one was published in 2002 and as someone who is instantly a fan, that kind of sucks. I could read this regularly on a monthly basis for years to come.
I should mention, that Moore’s art is groovy as hell. It compliments the story perfectly and it helps create an ambience that is unique and original in a time when comic books have fallen victim to chronic redundancy.
Additionally, once the main story concludes, the trade paperback gives the reader several comedic comic strips featuring the characters from the story, mainly Byrd and Mo. I enjoyed these little episodes, which developed the relationship between the two main characters a bit more.
If you want to read a comic series that is different than the norm, this is certainly something that I’d recommend.