There’s something refreshing about “Dash,” Dave Ebersole and Delia Gable’s private-eye-meets-supernatural story set in 1940 Los Angeles. With its mixture of mystery, drama and emotional turmoil, there’s a little something for everyone here. And while most stories of this nature would probably debut as a completed graphic novel, I like the fact that it’s a series that understands how to use the issue-by-issue pacing.
“Dash” #2 picks up more or less where the first issue left off; Dashell Malone’s lover Johnny “Plink” Plinketts is dead, a mysterious burn mark in the form of a hand on his neck. With an earring from Dash’s earlier client found at the scene, he knows where he has to investigate. He just has to survive being questioned by the homophobic police detective that’s brought him in for questioning.
What’s nice about “Dash” #2 (and the series so far in general) is that Ebersole straddles the various lines that make up the comic with just the right mixture. It’s not strictly or solely one thing; you could try and categorize it as just being a mystery, or just being historical, or just being about being gay, or any other genre that the book connects with. But none of those elements overwhelm the title, and instead Ebersole weaves them all together. They all work well together, too; 1940 Los Angeles is not a great time period for a gay former police officer, and Ebersole lets us in on more of Ebersole’s past this issue even as the book continues to move the current storyline forward. It makes Dash a more well-rounded character, and it makes me want to read about his continuing exploits that much more.
It doesn’t hurt that Gable’s art is pleasant to the eye. It’s very clean and smooth, reminding me at times almost like Terry Moore’s comics. You’ll appreciate that Gable pays attention to all of the different characters with equal skill. Supporting characters like Cindy or even the museum security guard get just as expressive and energetic expressions as Dash himself, and every character helps Ebersole tell the story by the way they act and react to one another. It’s an art style that is both classy and classic wrapped up in one.
“Dash” #2 is a fun comic, and I’m already looking forward to the third issue. The mystery is starting to kick into high gear, and Dash is a strong protagonist who can definitely carry his own series. I hadn’t read any comics by Ebersole or Gable before, but I’ll certainly be keeping my eyes out for more stories by this duo. And, of course, reading more “Dash.”