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The Case of the Missing Men

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"Kris Bertin's stories are a revelation, a triumph—each stamped with the mark of a new and rising genius." —David Adams Richards The Case of the Missing Men is the first part of an ongoing mystery thriller set in a strange and remote East Coast village called Hobtown. The story follows a gang of young teens who have made it their business to investigate each and every one o "Kris Bertin's stories are a revelation, a triumph—each stamped with the mark of a new and rising genius." —David Adams Richards The Case of the Missing Men is the first part of an ongoing mystery thriller set in a strange and remote East Coast village called Hobtown. The story follows a gang of young teens who have made it their business to investigate each and every one of their town's bizarre occurrences as The Teen Detective Club (a registered afterschool program). Their small world of missing pets and shed-fires is turned upside down when real-life kid adventurer and globetrotter Sam Finch comes to town and enlists them in their first real case—the search for his missing father. In doing so, he and the teens stumble upon a terrifying world of rural secret societies, weird-but-true folk mythology, subterranean lairs, and an occultist who can turn men into dogs. The Case of The Missing Men is at turns funny, intriguing, eerie, and endearing, and is beautifully illustrated in a style reminiscent of classic children's pulp series like Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys. Kris Bertin and Alexander Forbes are childhood friends who trained in separate disciplines in order to reunite as adults and make comic books. Alexander Forbes is an artist and graduate of the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, and Kris Bertin is the author of the short story collection Bad Things Happen (Biblioasis, 2016). They are both from Lincoln, New Brunswick, and both live in Halifax, Nova Scotia.


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"Kris Bertin's stories are a revelation, a triumph—each stamped with the mark of a new and rising genius." —David Adams Richards The Case of the Missing Men is the first part of an ongoing mystery thriller set in a strange and remote East Coast village called Hobtown. The story follows a gang of young teens who have made it their business to investigate each and every one o "Kris Bertin's stories are a revelation, a triumph—each stamped with the mark of a new and rising genius." —David Adams Richards The Case of the Missing Men is the first part of an ongoing mystery thriller set in a strange and remote East Coast village called Hobtown. The story follows a gang of young teens who have made it their business to investigate each and every one of their town's bizarre occurrences as The Teen Detective Club (a registered afterschool program). Their small world of missing pets and shed-fires is turned upside down when real-life kid adventurer and globetrotter Sam Finch comes to town and enlists them in their first real case—the search for his missing father. In doing so, he and the teens stumble upon a terrifying world of rural secret societies, weird-but-true folk mythology, subterranean lairs, and an occultist who can turn men into dogs. The Case of The Missing Men is at turns funny, intriguing, eerie, and endearing, and is beautifully illustrated in a style reminiscent of classic children's pulp series like Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys. Kris Bertin and Alexander Forbes are childhood friends who trained in separate disciplines in order to reunite as adults and make comic books. Alexander Forbes is an artist and graduate of the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, and Kris Bertin is the author of the short story collection Bad Things Happen (Biblioasis, 2016). They are both from Lincoln, New Brunswick, and both live in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

30 review for The Case of the Missing Men

  1. 5 out of 5

    Sara

    Well I’m slightly annoyed to report that I may have read the best graphic of the year already. Nancy Drew and David Lynch had a secret love child and it is one freaky deaky beautiful baby. Review to follow....

  2. 5 out of 5

    Joey Shapiro

    I can’t stress this enough.... this book rocks. If you read every Hardy Boys book back-to-back without sleeping this would be the nightmare you have afterwards. Strange and kooky and thrilling and so so fun, it’s Nancy Drew in the twilight zone and I loved every minute of it! So excited for the second book to come out in November.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth Felderman

    "Wouldn't you want us to know we're all dreaming?" If you ever wished that Nancy Drew would solve a mystery in Twin Peaks, have I the graphic novel for you! Creepy, thrilling, and highly entertaining. "Wouldn't you want us to know we're all dreaming?" If you ever wished that Nancy Drew would solve a mystery in Twin Peaks, have I the graphic novel for you! Creepy, thrilling, and highly entertaining.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Stewart Tame

    The back cover describes this as, “Nancy Drew meets David Lynch …” I certainly can't argue with that. We have a group of teenagers who solve mysteries, and we’ve got a singularly weird and creepy mystery to be solved. Boy adventurer Sam Finch comes to town to investigate the disappearance of his father. Hobtown is a small town in Nova Scotia, but there have been a rash of disappearances. The members of The Teen Detective Club (a registered after school program) are investigating as well. But the The back cover describes this as, “Nancy Drew meets David Lynch …” I certainly can't argue with that. We have a group of teenagers who solve mysteries, and we’ve got a singularly weird and creepy mystery to be solved. Boy adventurer Sam Finch comes to town to investigate the disappearance of his father. Hobtown is a small town in Nova Scotia, but there have been a rash of disappearances. The members of The Teen Detective Club (a registered after school program) are investigating as well. But the police and many of the town’s adults seem to be hindering their progress. And then things start getting weird … dog men, and deformed dwarfish creatures that not everyone can see … This is a well-crafted story with great atmosphere that builds well. It does end with the promise of more to come, and I’m looking forward to more of the series. I was particularly struck by chapter 10, in which the action is conveyed obliquely through various eyewitness statements. Regarding the Nancy Drew influence, it occurs to me that the character most like Nancy, Nana, has a similar name and even an attorney father. I also note a bit of Johnny Quest in Sam Finch. Yes, he’s not a little kid but a teenager, but his father is a dead ringer for Dr. Benton Quest and he even has a best friend who appears to be from India or thereabouts. All in all, this was a great beginning to what promises to be an intriguing series. Recommended!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Ellen

    I'm not a 100% on my rating, but this was a strange book... and I liked it. It had elements that reminded me of Nancy Drew, Buffy and the good days of the show Supernatural. All things I love. I read it almost all in one sitting and I couldn't wait to figure out who did it. If there was one thing lacking it would be character development. I didn't feel like I got to know the main characters, but I wanted to. If you're looking for something a bit creepy and weird, this may be for you. Content war I'm not a 100% on my rating, but this was a strange book... and I liked it. It had elements that reminded me of Nancy Drew, Buffy and the good days of the show Supernatural. All things I love. I read it almost all in one sitting and I couldn't wait to figure out who did it. If there was one thing lacking it would be character development. I didn't feel like I got to know the main characters, but I wanted to. If you're looking for something a bit creepy and weird, this may be for you. Content warning: some language, including one use of the f word, and some disturbing imagery

  6. 5 out of 5

    Crowinator

    This is an odd one. It reminds me most of Laird Barron's meta-fictional story "We Smoke the Northern Lights" in the The Gods of HP Lovecraft anthology, but with Nancy Drew instead of the Hardy Boys, and a stronger Twin Peaks vibe instead of X-Files. I recommend it, as long as you are into weird fiction and don't expect the story to tie up neatly like a true Nancy Drew mystery. This is an odd one. It reminds me most of Laird Barron's meta-fictional story "We Smoke the Northern Lights" in the The Gods of HP Lovecraft anthology, but with Nancy Drew instead of the Hardy Boys, and a stronger Twin Peaks vibe instead of X-Files. I recommend it, as long as you are into weird fiction and don't expect the story to tie up neatly like a true Nancy Drew mystery.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Scott Marshall

    What an amazingly self assured and solid piece of work. From the darkly comic story to the lush linework to the book design, this is one of the best graphic novels I have read in some time. The reviews commonly compare it to Nancy Drew or Twin Peaks, and those comparisons are deserved, but it also reminds me of some of my favourite comics, from the likes of Richard Sala and Charles Burns. I love this world that Bertin and Forbes have created and I hope there will be more.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Derek Nason

    Highly recommend this book. I changed plans around to make sure I could continue reading it without interruption. It doesn’t let go of you. What’s unexpected is how funny it is. I also recommend this if you don’t think of yourself as a frequent graphical novel or comics reader. It really is for everybody.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Emmkay

    Loved the idea of a graphic novel riff on classic teen sleuth stories - think Nancy Drew, Scooby Doo - though this is more Riverdale in its darkness, and in fact would make a great tv adaptation. Set in a super-weird small town in Nova Scotia where there have been a bunch of mysterious disappearances and things are not what they seem (well, other than creepy - they both seem and are creepy). I had a hard time keeping up with which character was which: this made it harder to stay invested and fol Loved the idea of a graphic novel riff on classic teen sleuth stories - think Nancy Drew, Scooby Doo - though this is more Riverdale in its darkness, and in fact would make a great tv adaptation. Set in a super-weird small town in Nova Scotia where there have been a bunch of mysterious disappearances and things are not what they seem (well, other than creepy - they both seem and are creepy). I had a hard time keeping up with which character was which: this made it harder to stay invested and follow the plot properly. 2.5.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Matthew White Ellis

    Baffling. Absolutely baffling. I can’t make heads or tails with this story. The characters are so severely undeveloped, I had no sense of their relationships to one another. The murders happen so quickly that it felt ridiculous and the dialogue was so stilted that it felt unnatural.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Emma

    Absolutely delightful take on the Nancy Drew mysteries with a dark, dark underbelly.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Shannon Appelcline

    An interesting, stylistic mystery. I don't agree with the marketing text claiming this is Nancy Drew meets David Lynch, since in the end it's frankly all too reasonable. But maybe a darker Nancy Drew at least. The mystery is interesting, if a bit too convoluted at times. There are some interesting characters as well. However, I just never get enough feeling of tension. I dunno if it's that I don't feel close enough to the characters, if it feels like there's not enough danger, or both. And 300+ pa An interesting, stylistic mystery. I don't agree with the marketing text claiming this is Nancy Drew meets David Lynch, since in the end it's frankly all too reasonable. But maybe a darker Nancy Drew at least. The mystery is interesting, if a bit too convoluted at times. There are some interesting characters as well. However, I just never get enough feeling of tension. I dunno if it's that I don't feel close enough to the characters, if it feels like there's not enough danger, or both. And 300+ pages and we still only get a partial ending? SIgh.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Megan O'Hara

    very fun and creepy! lots of overlapping threads but the author mostly makes it work, I just wanted some more characterization. also this is definitely meant to be David Lynch-ian so those threads do not have to be tied by any means what am I saying.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Lindsey

    Yep, I'm just as surprised as you are. READ IT. Yep, I'm just as surprised as you are. READ IT.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jason

    Scooby-Doo meets Riverdale meets Nancy Drew meets Bad Machinery...need I say more? But I will, anyway. Things I love: smart, level-headed teens not given to stereotype--especially the football player brothers, who exhibit some "jock" characteristics but are fleshed out as individuals; a mystery that flirts with the supernatural but is not wholly given over to it, a complex plot that resolves enough of the mystery to satisfy the reader, but leaves plenty of dangling threads for volume two (not ev Scooby-Doo meets Riverdale meets Nancy Drew meets Bad Machinery...need I say more? But I will, anyway. Things I love: smart, level-headed teens not given to stereotype--especially the football player brothers, who exhibit some "jock" characteristics but are fleshed out as individuals; a mystery that flirts with the supernatural but is not wholly given over to it, a complex plot that resolves enough of the mystery to satisfy the reader, but leaves plenty of dangling threads for volume two (not even necessary to cement the brilliance of volume one, but very much desired!); a classic feel a la Agatha Christie and the aforementioned Nancy Drew; acknowledgment (even if slight) of the presence and influence of First Nation peoples (the brothers are half-Native American) as well as people of color (like Dilan) while reflecting mid-nineteen-nineties attitudes towards them. That's all I can think of fof now, but hopefully it's enough to get everyone to read it!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Rod Brown

    I like it when books review themselves: "It's not strange. It's nonsense." The creators try to bring a Twin Peaks sensibility to the teen detective genre epitomized by Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys and deliver a vaguely supernatural and wholly nonsensical missing persons mystery filled with murder, brainwashing, premonitions and some random little gnomish monsters. The Scooby gang here consists of a bunch of stiffs, with hardly an actual personality to be found. While the art fits the desired ton I like it when books review themselves: "It's not strange. It's nonsense." The creators try to bring a Twin Peaks sensibility to the teen detective genre epitomized by Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys and deliver a vaguely supernatural and wholly nonsensical missing persons mystery filled with murder, brainwashing, premonitions and some random little gnomish monsters. The Scooby gang here consists of a bunch of stiffs, with hardly an actual personality to be found. While the art fits the desired tone, the story is just too dull to be eerie or scary or any of the other adjectives used on the back cover.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Andy

    Ignore reviewers who claim The Case of the Missing Men is nothing more than Scooby-Doo (and don't get me wrong: I love Scooby-Doo!) for modern times. The graphic novel is (at least somewhat) a nod to the Nancy Drew mysteries and also the surrealism of David Lynch, but it's also much more. Use the time that you might be tempted to spend reading reviews of the book to instead just read the book. Be aware, however, as author Kris Bertin has mentioned in a post here on Goodreads, that some editions Ignore reviewers who claim The Case of the Missing Men is nothing more than Scooby-Doo (and don't get me wrong: I love Scooby-Doo!) for modern times. The graphic novel is (at least somewhat) a nod to the Nancy Drew mysteries and also the surrealism of David Lynch, but it's also much more. Use the time that you might be tempted to spend reading reviews of the book to instead just read the book. Be aware, however, as author Kris Bertin has mentioned in a post here on Goodreads, that some editions of the book (including the one I read) contain a printing error. Page 283 is repeated on p. 285. (Actually it belongs on p. 285 and not p. 283.) Otherwise, recommended.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jim Angstadt

    The Case of the Missing Men Kris Bertin (Goodreads Author), and Alexander Forbes (Visual Art) This graphic novel was disappointing, shallow, lacked characterization, had several plot gaps, and people were turned into dogs. But, the graphics were good.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Tony

    I picked this up at SPX a few years ago and forgot to read it until just now! What a strange beast of a book -- it heavily combines elements of the Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew series of the 1950s with Scooby Doo and Tintin style conspiracies and investigations, cut heavily with a Twin Peaks deadpan surrealism. Set in a small town along the coast of Nova Scotia, it features a "gee-whiz" group of high-schoolers who have a Mystery Club. A new boy at school propels them into the titular case, in which his I picked this up at SPX a few years ago and forgot to read it until just now! What a strange beast of a book -- it heavily combines elements of the Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew series of the 1950s with Scooby Doo and Tintin style conspiracies and investigations, cut heavily with a Twin Peaks deadpan surrealism. Set in a small town along the coast of Nova Scotia, it features a "gee-whiz" group of high-schoolers who have a Mystery Club. A new boy at school propels them into the titular case, in which his father, and four other men have all gone missing over the past few months. The story is very convoluted, and at times veers unevenly between camp, creepy, sly absurdist humor, and gags. Taken a chapter at a time, I mostly enjoyed it -- but the tonal mix kept it from succeeding fully as a story for me. Yes, the plot does go from point to point and ends up with the "case" being "solved", but that felt somewhat beside the point. Part of that may have been the art -- which mostly matches the tone, but veers a little too far over into the grotesque at times. I also struggled at various points to distinguish between all the various middle-aged white men, which is kind of important to the plot. There was a lot of "Wait, who's that guy again?" and flipping back to previous chapters. Overall, it's an interesting and quirky (in both the good and pejorative sense) debut that is worth checking out by readers of graphic novels with a taste for the more weird, independent stuff. There's a second book in the series, but I don't feel compelled to tag along for further adventures.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Amory Blaine

    "Did you think it was weird?" "What?" "The way everyone was. I'd never noticed before, but most people were like, out of it. Not everyone, not you. But most people... It's not that no one cared. But no one was surprised. Here's a bunch of kids carrying this bleeding kid. Looks like he could be dead... ...People just watched. Like a movie or something on TV. They'll watch, but it doesn't matter to them. It's a rerun and they already know what happens." [153] Nancy Drew meets David Lynch is accurate, "Did you think it was weird?" "What?" "The way everyone was. I'd never noticed before, but most people were like, out of it. Not everyone, not you. But most people... It's not that no one cared. But no one was surprised. Here's a bunch of kids carrying this bleeding kid. Looks like he could be dead... ...People just watched. Like a movie or something on TV. They'll watch, but it doesn't matter to them. It's a rerun and they already know what happens." [153] Nancy Drew meets David Lynch is accurate, but this graphic novel didn't work for me. Lots of tropes and nothing new, just an unsettling but strangely bland mishmash. It ends on a cliffhanger, but I'm fine walking away.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Maggie Gordon

    The Case of the Missing Men is a bizarre little book. It is a mashup of teen detective and weird fiction, seems to poke a lot of fun at both genres, yet remains utterly serious about its plot. As I said, odd, but quite a compelling tale to read. With very detailed and rich art, readers follow five teens as they explore a strange political-paranormal conspiracy of missing men, murder, and gnomes. There's plenty of mystery left at the end of the book, so I hope there will be more! This is definite The Case of the Missing Men is a bizarre little book. It is a mashup of teen detective and weird fiction, seems to poke a lot of fun at both genres, yet remains utterly serious about its plot. As I said, odd, but quite a compelling tale to read. With very detailed and rich art, readers follow five teens as they explore a strange political-paranormal conspiracy of missing men, murder, and gnomes. There's plenty of mystery left at the end of the book, so I hope there will be more! This is definitely everything I wanted Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero to be!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Colleen Earle

    This was a really strange book. Like, super strange. There was secret societies and murder and dogs. I liked how it takes place in a fictional town in NS. It felt like home even though it wasn’t. It’s suppose to take place in 1996, but it often felt more like the 60’s-80’s. It might just be because it was in black and white which made it harder to tell what the clothes were like. Hoping that another book in published in this series (?) because I feel like the story isn’t done yet As a bonus my editio This was a really strange book. Like, super strange. There was secret societies and murder and dogs. I liked how it takes place in a fictional town in NS. It felt like home even though it wasn’t. It’s suppose to take place in 1996, but it often felt more like the 60’s-80’s. It might just be because it was in black and white which made it harder to tell what the clothes were like. Hoping that another book in published in this series (?) because I feel like the story isn’t done yet As a bonus my edition is signed

  23. 5 out of 5

    Elise Granata

    This story was so truly disturbing and captivating from jump. It's been a minute since a comic rattled me this way. It checked all the boxes I didn't know I had: dumb youth, secret clubs, sparse beach town vibes, underground tunnels, DIY guns, dreams made real, and lunch lady drama. Oh, and goddang beautiful linework. So much linework. This story was so truly disturbing and captivating from jump. It's been a minute since a comic rattled me this way. It checked all the boxes I didn't know I had: dumb youth, secret clubs, sparse beach town vibes, underground tunnels, DIY guns, dreams made real, and lunch lady drama. Oh, and goddang beautiful linework. So much linework.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Lexie

    I'm giving this a two, however I'm struggling pretty hard with it as well. Partially it was because the artwork turned me off. I was doing okay until the scene where they see a character digging (or possibly burying) something in the dirt off the side of the road. Until that point the art had been defined, but not detailed. For some reason the artist decided to hone in on this one instance in such graphicness that I physically cringed away from the book. (view spoiler)[The scene is of the guy pu I'm giving this a two, however I'm struggling pretty hard with it as well. Partially it was because the artwork turned me off. I was doing okay until the scene where they see a character digging (or possibly burying) something in the dirt off the side of the road. Until that point the art had been defined, but not detailed. For some reason the artist decided to hone in on this one instance in such graphicness that I physically cringed away from the book. (view spoiler)[The scene is of the guy pulling off his fingernails one at a time. (hide spoiler)] From then on I continued on in morbid fascination tempered with a lot of confusion. The characters all seem to be "in the know" in a way that doesn't quite come across in the story. They go from scene to scene, "clue" to "clue" with a sort of manic need that I never felt. The GN is paying homage/taking inspiration from the old teen books/shows from yesteryears, but it had none of the charm of those stories. It at times felt like it was maliciously mocking those stories - mocking the fact that these "meddling kids" would look into investigations that they had no business looking into yet come out of it pristine and heroic. The town itself was unsettling, which fits with the overall ghoulishness I suppose - the macabre nature of the deaths and disappearances seemed less important then keeping everything peaceful (view spoiler)[for the one character who turns out to be the villain, or one of them at least, it makes complete sense. For everyone else not so much (hide spoiler)] In the end this book was extremely unsettling, but not in a good way.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    I just wasn’t feeling this book at all. It just seemed weird for the sake of it and honestly I sort of lost interest and sort of forced myself to finish it. I probably would have gone with 2 stars for the story but the drawings were cool and detailed.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Nicole Westen

    This is basically Scooby-Doo for grown ups. Love it.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Sandy Plants

    Reminded me of being a kid and LOVING the hardy boys and the boxcar kids and encyclopedia brown (except on acid).

  28. 4 out of 5

    Katharama

    3.5 stars

  29. 4 out of 5

    Adam Geisler

    I sat back and let in the memories of checking out Hardy Boys at the library, saving up for comics at the drug store, and late night Twin Peaks viewings. The pulpiest of weird and mysterious OJ.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Strange. The artwork was not at all to my taste, and the storytelling was weak. It often seemed to leap from one scene to the next, and did not build the mystery in a coherent way. Sort of like the Scooby Doo Gang, but less competent and not as funny. The whole town had a weird thing going on, there were gross little man-like beings (possibly for population control, but WHY?), a stupid secret club, brainwashing that made no sense, oblique references of their mothers dying or going mad...Perhaps Strange. The artwork was not at all to my taste, and the storytelling was weak. It often seemed to leap from one scene to the next, and did not build the mystery in a coherent way. Sort of like the Scooby Doo Gang, but less competent and not as funny. The whole town had a weird thing going on, there were gross little man-like beings (possibly for population control, but WHY?), a stupid secret club, brainwashing that made no sense, oblique references of their mothers dying or going mad...Perhaps it would be smarter to just tell the kids what was going on so at least they could be better prepared? Oh, and maybe one of the girls is somewhat prophetic? You know, just 'cause. It doesn't properly introduce any of the characters, just throws you into the story to figure it out as you go. A lot of this reminded me of Hot Fuzz, with the town claiming obvious murders are "accidents," and being largely brainwashed and controlled by some higher ups that are behind everything. Dana's dad seemed intelligent, but apparently wasn't. If the men think they're dogs, why are they using weapons? If they're culling the population "randomly," why is the weird man-thing there too? There seemed to be no point behind the plot. As this is the first in a series, I suppose they're saving it for later, but I couldn't care less. Not sure how this got such great reviews. It needs a lot of work IMO.

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