Reviewed by Anthony Feinman
Frank Cammuso’s Max Hamm is nothing short of a great series. Currently available in four volumes or as a compilation, I can’t stress how much fun these stories are. On a chance encounter of a Chicago Comicon several years back, I picked these up from Mr. Cammuso based solely on the cover. Look at the cover to the right. Doesn’t that beg to be picked up?
I went back to our table and set them aside to read at a later time. One of my buddies happened to pick up my copies and began to peruse my newly purchased items. I started to hear an occasional chuckle and then laughter. It seems my chance encounter yielded good results! I asked my buddy what he thought of them and clearly stated, “Read these books. Now!” Such a forceful demand required me to take my mind off of monitoring the table to view the first volume. My command to anyone reading this is to get these books and read them. Now!
A combination of the retelling of the old nursery rhymes and comic book art done a tongue and cheek way pulls you into tales of Detective Max Hamm’s world in Storybookland. Think of it as Sam Spade solving murder mysteries with a giggle. The material is clearly designed for a young audience but appeals to fans of the 1930’s mystery genre as well as a common observer. I highly recommend these works to one and all!
The first volume, The Big Sleep, is an introduction to Max Hamm and the characters that populate this world. It begins with a client, Bo Peep, hiring Hamm and his partner Humpty Dumpty to investigate the kidnapping of sheep. Dumpty ends up being murdered while following a lead. It just takes off from there with the puns and humor and does not stop. Your giggling won’t stop either.
The next three volumes begin a story arch called, The Long Ever After, with each book as a chapter of the story. And with chapter titles of The Seven Deadly Sins, The Glass Slipper, and The Magic Mirror, the reader is thrown into a conspiracy of murder, mystery and betrayal with, of course, the surprise ending.
Cammuso started his books as independents but successfully is now distributed through Scholastic Inc. which means that anyone can now purchase them through a big named book retailer such as Barnes and Noble or Borders. Your local comic book store probably stocks them as well. He has even signed a deal with them for a new series slated for release in the near future. But for now, if you want the Max Hamm series in a complete volume or individually separate and signed, visit his online store at: www.cammuso.com