Finally! The trade paperback for Imagine Agents is out! I have been dying to read the story as a whole and to tell everyone about it.. It is a fun, imaginative story and a truly all ages graphic novel that is even better the second time around.
I.M.A.G.I.N.E.(1) Agents are the people who keep track of imaginary friends, taking the good ones off to live in a special, separate village when their children grow too old to see them and capturing the bad ones. Now, they are hunting Dapple, a truly diabolical imaginary friend (ex-friend?) who has diabolical plans involving young Elliot and his imaginary friend, Furdlegurr. The agents on the job are Dave Slatern, a disillusioned older agent and Terry Snowgoose, his young, eager, but completely inexperienced partner just off of office duty and prone to losing track of his equipment. To Dave’s dismay, they are enthusiastically aided by Blounder, a blobby pink imaginary friend who has just left his children behind.
Joines deftly handles both the familiar tropes (the jaded cop and his naïve young partner) and the unusual elements (imaginary creatures gone rogue, the technology used to track them, etc), melting them together into a one-of-a-kind delightful whole, full of humor and tension.
Bachan goes wild with the imaginary friends. There is a thin purple creatures that looks to be partly plant, a T-Rex from the old West, and a myriad of other creatures swarming through the panels. He and Joines also take a gigantic teddy bear and a blobby pink creature and turn them into characters readers care about. Imagine Agents also frees the artists and writer to create a truly over-the-top villain and his accomplices because that is precisely what the world of Imagine Agents calls for. Redmond keeps the palette bright and clear, suited to the creatures. This is storytelling unleashed and allowed to run.
Imagine Agents comes to a satisfying conclusion and will do well as a standalone, but it is one series I hope is continued.
Imagine Agents is recommended to anyone who ever had an imaginary friend, to lovers of crazy tales, and to those who enjoy brightly colored, unlikely creatures.
(1) I.M.A.G.IN.E. stands for The Institute for the Management, Acclimation, Guardianship, and Incarceration of Notional Entities
Imagine Agents is available December 17th from BOOM! Studios.
Created and written by Brian Joines
Colors: Ruth Redmond
Letters: Deron Bennett
Cover: Khary Randolph with colors by Matthew Wilson