Created by B. Clay Moore
"Thank God the Tiki Bar's still open
If Raymond Chandler had worn a few more Hawaiian shirts and learned to chill, Philip Marlowe may have turned out a little like B. Clay Moore's BYRD, the slacker detective hero of comic book series entitled, appropriately enough, Hawaiian Dick.
Or maybe if Hawaii 5-O's Jack Lord had inhaled a few times...
"The term we've sort of coined is 'Tropical Noir,'" Moore explained to comic mag CBR News. "It's a pastiche of pop cultural influences, attempting to bring some of the spirit of fifties' noir to comics. Not as grim and dark as a lot of 'noir' influenced things out there. We're trying to have fun with it, make use of the colorful locale without coming across as stereotyping. And, of course, we've thrown supernatural elements in for good measure. After all, it's a comic book. We can do anything we want and the budget doesn't increase a penny. So why not throw as much stuff into the stew as we can?"
Imagine a private eye so laid back he's almost horizontal, a lot of rum drinks, bamboo, lounge music and fifties-era suburban kitsch rolled into the hard-boiled milieu, with a little voodoo tossed in for spice, and you've got as pretty good idea of what this (so-far) mini-series is like.
Byrd's a disgraced former cop from the mainland with a past he'd prefer not to discuss (something about killing his own brother) trying to make a new life for himself in Hawaii. In the first mini-series, his old army pal, Detective Mo Kalama, tosses Byrd a stolen car case. But it turns out the car contains a package that was stolen from the island's big shot drug lord, Bishop Masaki.
Moore assures us "There are plans for more Hawaiian Dick, and they seem pretty firm. If things go right, we should see a follow-up series featuring Byrd (and Mo) sometime later... We're also in the process of working toward expanding Hawaiian Dick into other media, which we hope will encourage interest in the comic book."
And in fact, rumour has it that Hollywood had indeed come sniffing around. No, really. There was a lot of talk at one point about a possible flick set in Hawaii, possibly starring Johnny Knowville.
But that's just pie-in-the-sky,. In 2004, a second mini-series, The Last Resort, made an appearance, continuing the same affable hybrid of booze-soaked slacker P.I. fiction and tales of things that go bump in the dark, and every now and then, another new series pops up, the most recent being Aloha, Hawaiian Dick.
Collects first three issues, plus over fifty pages of bonus material, including rough sketches, earlystrips and and even cocktail recipes.
Collects the second mini-series
Collects the third mini-series.
Report respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.
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