Another (Successful) Case for the Littlest Umbrella

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Another Case for the Littlest Umbrella

Once upon a time there was a masked YouTuber who went by the moniker of That Umbrella Guy. He broadcasted engaging livestreams about the state of the comic book industry, and one of the highlights of his shows would be when his young daughter, Elizabeth (aka Little Umbrella Girl) would join the show and tell her stories. You never knew where these were going to go, and sometimes they just ended in the middle of things. Such is the mind of a child. But it gave That Umbrella Guy -- TUG to his viewers -- the idea to merge both of these loves -- comics and his daughter -- into a project they could do together.

And so was born The Case of the Littlest Umbrella, wherein TUG would be a masked detective aided by his eldritch "Little One" to investigate supernatural events. The book was crowdfunded on Indiegogo with over $100,000 raised by fans.

What might have been a one-off resulted in a sequel: Another Case for the Littlest Umbrella, co-written and drawn by S.K. Bennett (and some cover art by Little Umbrella Girl herself, if you chose that variant). Here, we find mysterious goings-on in the New England town of Braken Hollow. An escaped mental patient exhibits supernatural powers, which prompts the hospital director to call in the experts: Hey There! Investigative Services. Soon enough, the detective and his wise-cracking partner are on the case, resulting in several blows to the head for Detective TUG, many strange things witnessed by Little One, a plague of ravaged teddy bears -- and an invasion from the deeps by an eons-old sea monster!

Another Case for the Littlest Umbrella is a fun and engaging story, told in a single oversized volume. The dialogue is natural and entertaining, and the art is exquisitely detailed. The story flows easily and sensibly, both in terms of plot and in the navigation of the panels and word balloons. My one quibble would be the panels where the characters are based on real people (one of the purchasable perks of this crowdfunding was getting yourself drawn into the book). Those scenes stand apart from the story as they are easily identifiable as posed figures. However, I've never yet seen a comic book where a real-life insert has been drawn that matches the dynamic fluidity of the other comic book characters, and that goes all the way back to Superboy meeting JFK for me, so I can hardly fault Bennett for not being the first comics artist in my reading life to overcome that hurdle.

This book is no longer funding on Indiegogo, so if you're looking for your own copy you'll have to check online places like eBay. Or, if you're really lucky, perhaps they'll be included as a catch-up option should the be any further adventures of the Littlest Umbrella.  And one certainly hopes there will be!

4.0 / 5.0