Miss Endicott Part 1

Miss Endicott Part 1
Miss Endicott Part 1 review
  • UK publisher / ISBN: Cinebook Expresso - 978-1-84918-544-8
  • Volume No.: 1
  • Release date: 2007
  • English language release date: 2021
  • UPC: 9781849185448
  • Contains adult content?: no
  • Does this pass the Bechdel test?: no
  • Positive minority portrayal?: no

Miss Endicott’s cover is strangely coy about the title, only noting it in small print under the far larger font presenting the surnames of creators Jean-Christophe Derrien and Xavier Fourquemin, making it seem as if this could be a French book not actually translated.

Derrien and Fourquemin take us back to England in the early 1800s near the start of the industrial era, where we meet Prudence Endicott at her mother’s funeral, recently returned from abroad. There’s no inheritance so she’s employed as a nanny to a supposedly troublesome child who’s strangely well behaved in her presence. Unbeknown to most she also continues the family trade of conciliating, sorting out neighbourhood problems, and as seen on the sample art, she punches considerably above her weight, having learned a lot on her travels.

For a fair portion of this opening volume it seems as if Miss Endicott is a stand-in for Mary Poppins, beloved by almost all as soon as they meet her, and eventually charming to those displaying an initial reluctance. However, there’s no magic to her, just persistence, fearlessness and skill. Once she’s established, Derrien expands the supporting cast, people from all walks of life and with considerably varied interests.

Fourquemin’s people are stylistically consistent, but need some getting used to, as he distorts features, enlarging chins and flattening heads, all the more confusing for the plot later calling for people with physical deformities, but this is first rate cartooning with a phenomenal work rate. Every single panel is rich in detail down to the point of showing floorboards are scuffed.

Over the course of a story almost double the length of the standard Cinebook graphic novel Miss Endicott makes new friends and discovers an imminent threat to the city. It’s been a fine adventure concluded in Part 2. Derrien leads us there with a great cliffhanger ending.