Dick Sweenie #1 Éditions Paquet, september 2000, colour, 54 pages, A4, hardcover (text in French).
2 DS 1-1 cover THE STORY:
An isolated café by night. Dick gets his eggs and bacon, and trys his luck with the waitress (yuck). Too bad, a new crisis gets him, and he sneezes strongly, throwing an "unidentified object" (UO) through his right nostril. The thing bounces over a chair, and splashes into his dish!
It's a clear sign - he must leave at once. Riding his scooter, he flees through the night when all of a sudden, eight lights come across the road÷
THEY have found him again!
They are a pack of (cute) little Casper-like aliens, who, in spite of his frantic defence, are swift to give him a blast of their neuro-biological weapon and leave him laying on the pavement.
Thankfully, Granny Maggie Mac Taggart and her gang (her daughter, Prosper her son-in-law and her genius of a grand-son Taggs) come to the rescue with a copter.
Another gang comes close behind, with their Jeep. General Boulefixe, his daughter, Robert his son in law, and Jobard, the assistant who witnessed (Prof) Dick's abduction at the observatory. "Mort Rugissante", the Général's copter, flies in, and it takes the jeep off (by a rope), pursuing Maggie's gang to the North.
Daylight at the café. Waitress Zelda is recounting the night to her chum, while the boy (Randy, 10) goes to pee. And just when Zelda shows the UO which popped right out of Dick's nostril, a third gang comes in. Sir Plump (the tall fat guy, a bit dumb) and Laurel (the short, skinny and canny one). They want the UO. Plump shows a weapon, sort of Mac-Do blaster toy, just when Randy comes back from the toilets. Laurel and Plump litterally prostrate themselves in front of the boy, calling him "haut dignitaire". Randy gets the toy, and quickly finds the trigger, blasting a five-foot-diameter hole into the front door÷
Laurel uses the surprise to get the weapon back, while Plump gobbles the UO (yuck). They flee, mocking Randy as a "fraud".
The two choppers are approaching the North Pole, one after the other. Dick has intestinal troubles, a side-effect of the neurobiological weapon. Dick, Prosper and the girl sneak into a (ice?) cavern, and discover a flying saucer of those same aliens, but derelict for thousands of years (frozen Mammoths and saber-tooth Tigers give the timestamp). While Dick frees a mammoth by mistake, the two others investigate the saucer and find a picture of Dick, cheesing with four little aliens (indeed cute).
Taggs detects intruders, and the explorers come back, just as General Boulefixe flies up, still in the Jeep, which is being carried by his helicopter. After a bit rude of a drop-down, the Jeep rushes in. Too late, Maggy's chopper is off. And they blast the alien saucer, better not to have the Army playing with it÷
Far to the south, and closer to the ground, Plump and Laurel kick a cop out into the blue (btw, he's got lots of donuts).
Maggy's chopper lands in a remote place, and Dick undergoes hypnosis, to free his memories: he had been abducted by the aliens!
Using a Net ad about a sexual-intensifier, they had selected a human to build as a "genetic bomb" and spread their genes over the helpless Earth. The experiment was a succes. Indeed. Really. But÷ the aliens customized Dick's "tool" with the best capacities they knew, and missed the size. They based their computation upon their own, which is totally invisible÷ Poor "Dick".
Taggs notes that this does not explain how Dick's portrait could end up in a saucer frozen for milleniums. Well, it's close to bedtime, and the boy goes to his bedroom. He plays a little, and put on a pair of sunglasses. With these, his light skin and short hair, he looks like÷ hush!
  CONCLUSION:
A promising first issue, but the editor did not advice/conduct the artist correctly.
Panels should be denser, backgrounds more detailed, text adapted to the right tone, and chose between the comico-rough style and a more dramatic and realistic one.
REVIEW:
Second European BD of Barry. Still too close to the American comics. Even if characters are well individualized and drawn, backrounds and landscapes are too simplistic. The number of panels per page is under the usual standards.
Tone of the writings is somewhat inappropriate (Éditions Paquet's fault, not Barry's). Overall tone is comical (a bit rough), while the plot is much sounder than it may look at first. A quick glance gives an impression of confusion and thinness.
One must really read and evaluate the text, and pay attention to the situations, because the plot is much deeper than usual for a comic (just as Sno's plot is). The Aliens really plan to genetically invade Earth, and are at it since long. Some should be on Earth under human shape, thus Randy was mistaken for a "haut dignitaire".
One can find some jokes about B-serials, and at least one of Barry's characters is around (Prof Jobard, from DemonGate); maybe too the "Donut" cop, back from Samurai
     

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