A Graphic Content Review
Danger Tours. Just the name invokes ideas of daring-do, adventure and mystery. Add to that the element of outer space and the intrigue opens up 1000-fold. Place all this into a world of weird humans, kooky aliens, and whatever the heck Alex's people are and you have Chris Dreier's Danger Tours.
Danger Tours opens with JP, our "hero", a thin dog-like being who doesn't quite seem in control of anything. As our tour guide at Danger Tours, he seems to know little about the where they are going but knows everything about scamming a buck, or at least getting just to the point that it will cash out and his own ineptitude of his occasional good nature manage to undo his plans. Thankfully the aforementioned Alex is the brains of the operation as well as the pilot and mechanic of the Danger Tours ship and manages to bring them back home alive, if not quite richer.
Chris Dreier has crafted a funny and endearing comic that also manages to be poignant at times. In Double Singularity, an tour of a black hole give JP the idea to make even more money off the multiples created by the time distortions but his actions also nearly destroy the ship and every dime has to be used for repairs, ending the story with not a laugh but a tear. An attempt to cheapen out on the fuel cells nearly makes the whole ship an appetizer for a space dugong but again the ship is nearly destroyed. A case of stolen seats not only ruins the tour but lands our heroes literally in deep doo doo. And JP's plan with a formally xenophobic race of giant dogs nearly endangers Alex's whole family who is more PJ's family than his own and even though the final story ends with laughter, the ship is once again in shambles. Mr. Dreier must have a serious problem with that space ship he created.
The unifying part of these stories is the art of Giuseppe D'Elia. Equal parts the complexity of comic books mixed with the simplicity of animation, Giuseppe's art manages to make the funny even funnier and the poignant moments become all the more painful because it doesn't feel like such sad things should have to happen to such "cute" characters. Giuseppe makes each character in the story look unique with an economy of lines that gives the picture depth and life. Marrying this line work with the strong color palette of James Keller elevates the art even higher. It gives the picture vibrancy while keeping it firmly in the world of animation.
Chris Dreier and company manage to do something interesting with Danger Tours that many others have tried but have failed to do...they have taken a book that on the surface looks like so much kids fare, but instead have created a series of stories that appeals to a much more sophisticated audience.
John Wilson- John Wilson is Co-Owner of Comic Related and Online Editor for Sketch Magazine. He is also a writer for the website Pandoracon.com and writes several comics for Ringtail Cafe Productions.John also does his own pen and ink sketching and creates multimedia art. In his rare free time, he reads multiple magazines and torments his beautiful wife and their goofy dog.
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