Papercutz’ New Case Files

Has it really been five years since Papercutz started the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew Graphic Novels? After only about twenty volumes in each, they seem to have felt the need to revamp both series, now labeling them as The New Case Files. One of the benefits of this is supposed to be the larger size and lower cost. The writing is now much easier to read, but there are fewer pages. Instead, the stories will be continued into the next volume.

First, I read Nancy Drew Vampire Slayer. Even though I own all the Nancy Drew graphic novels I am way behind; I enjoyed the ones I’ve read so far, however. This volume has a pretty similar feel. It’s the same authors/illustrator, and the same tone. The only difference is the supposed supernatural element, which any good Nancy Drew fan knows to question. Here the girls stumble across a mysterious, pale young man who shudders at sunlight, and believes Nancy can help him with his deep secret. George and Bess, however, are convinced that Gregor Coffin must be a vampire, and Ned is jealous that Nancy is pulling away from him (just like the Files series). It almost feels a little bit like Nancy is Christine in Phantom of the Opera.

My only complaint with this Nancy Drew graphic novel is true for the Hardy Boys as well: the story has many contemporary elements that I’m afraid may date it quickly, and not just the cell phones. The vampire suspicion is prefaced by Bess and George’s obsession with with the “DieLite” series, while in Crawling with Zombies the Hardy Boys are investigating dangerous “zombie crawl” flash mobs. One of the chapters is even called “Their Chemical Romance,” a play on the band name. On the other hand, these are elements that kids will be interested in reading about. They, rather than collectors like myself, are the true target audience.

To be honest, the main reason I read the Hardy Boys volume is because the plot will eventually tie in with the case Nancy is investigating. I’ve never been able to get on board with the changes the Undercover Brothers series made, and seeing everything drawn just brought the point home. The hip and modern “Aunt Trudy” seems a far cry from the gruff exterior of the original Aunt Gertrude. Chet looks a little bit like a loser, too, and I miss Iola and Callie and the rest of the gang. I suppose Frank’s interest in Belinda Conrad means we probably won’t see them again.

As the back cover promises, “clearly this isn’t your father’s Hardy Boys!” Just as with the Case Files of the 80’s, the authors hope to shake things up by starting the new series with a death. They are also setting the stage for a brotherly split over irreconcilable differences, a plot device which is about as fresh as Ned’s jealousy.

Again, these are my opinions as someone who has spent years reading Nancy and the Hardys in almost every incarnation, and I can’t help making comparisons.


I also picked up two of the latest Clue Crew books for a song, because they are nice 15-minute grading breaks. The plot of Camp Creepy seemed way too implausible and disjointed, with Hannah acting very out of character. Cat Burglar Caper was pretty good, though, and Chief McGinnis even gave the case to Nancy to try and figure out. It’s nice to see him having confidence in her abilities

<a href=”″>Crawling with Zombies</a><img src=”; width=”1″ height=”1″ border=”0″ alt=”” style=”border:none !important; margin:0px !important;” />
Published in: on December 1, 2010 at 8:36 pm  Comments (2)  
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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. […] this sequel to Vampire Slayer Part One, Nancy is now locked inside Gregor’s mansion with a mysterious madwoman who believes he is a […]

  2. […] been following the new releases but have only read the first 25. I wonder if this is tied to the revamp of the graphic novels. There seem to still be titles planned in the Clue Crew series, so I’m […]

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