Review by Frank Plowright
Daisy Blackwood’s previous pulp-style adventure brought Indiana Jones to mind with its mix of rip-roaring action sequences set in the mid-20th century. With The Cursed Island a creative success, can Ryan North repeat the formula?
That would be a resounding “yes”. Although it’s a very different type of adventure, The Stolen Socialite supplies an equally thrilling read, beginning when Daisy’s friend Laura is abducted while they’re out shopping. A neat personality touch is while Daisy enjoys the forthright Laura’s company, she’d never normally be caught dead shopping. Because North also drops in on the conversations the criminals are having, we learn they’re well organised, ambitious, and seem to have plans beyond mere ransom demands. North also provides a greater insight into Daisy’s world. With her adventures in the wild last time around we learned it’s not quite as ours, and that applies equally to the city, where the police have concerns about pirate gangs, brazen enough to operate under gang colours.
North poured the love into his drawing of planes last time around, and there are eventually more this time, Daisy being a pilot for hire, after all. However, North equally lavishes detail on the cars, late 1940s American models before fins became a style necessity, the uniforms and the locations. While beautifully drawn, the latter don’t always evoke the intended sleaziness because North’s art is so clean and precise, but that’s just a small quibble in the face of the quality supplied. Something else very pleasing about the art is that the movement works well, motion not always a strength of an artist applying such precision.
The title story’s an action-packed thrill, and it’s accompanied by a shorter back-up, ‘Follow That Bird’. Daisy is hired to recapture an absconded parrot, resulting in a frenetic and compact eighteen page chase sequence, complicated by gangsters seeing an opportunity to prise reward money from its wealthy owner.
Daisy Blackwood is due to return in The Dreamland Demon, and fans of inventive adventure should be counting the days. Or they could head to the Daisy Blackwood homepage and discover the treasures there.