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Webcomic / Bandette

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Bandette is a comic series written by Paul Tobin, with art by Colleen Coover. Serial issues are sold in digital format only by Monkeybrain Comics via Amazon's Comixology subsidiary, with paper collections published by Dark Horse Comics.

Bandette is a teenage girl superthief of art and antiquities, whose adventures are set in a lightly fantasticated Paris influenced by Tintin and the more romantic and playful end of French New Wave cinema. She has a band of helpers known as "the Urchins", friendly rivals in older thief Monsieur and cop Inspector B D Belgique (who she sometimes outright helps to catch nastier criminals), and a serious enemy in the malevolent secret society known as FINIS.


This webcomic provides examples of:

  • Asshole Victim: Bandette explains to a dog that the guy she's stealing from in the first issue is a nasty man who sells weapons to other nasty people.
    • Essentially, Bandette very, very rarely steals from anyone who doesn't clearly deserve it, except in cases when she needs leverage from the hoi paloi of Paris to help find Daniel.
  • Bad Boss: Absinthe to anyone who fails him, generally, or anyone who remotely displeases him in any way.
  • Badass Bookworm: Both Bandette and Monsieur love literature and books as objects, and Monsieur's secret identity is as the owner of an antiquarian bookshop.
  • Be My Valentine: Femme Fatale thief Valentina uses her charm and sex appeal to steal.
  • Beard of Evil: Absinthe, FINIS's leader.
  • Blindfolded Trip: B D Belgique gets one when Bandette invites him to see the film of Madame Presto.
  • Blood Knight: According to Michael the Brute and other underworld figures, Il Tredici has no vices or alternative motives for doing what he does, and his entire existence is centered around killing and nothing else. Bandette jokes that without murder, Il Tredici would simply not exist.
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  • Carnival of Killers: The concept of "The Six-Finger Secret" is a non-fatal one — a variety of superthieves of different varieties have been simultaneously hired by different clients to steal the same painting.
  • Cartoon Bomb: A genuinely dangerous one is used by The Voice to force Bandette to stop chasing him and save a crowd from being blown up.
  • Casual Danger Dialogue: Bandette and Matadori have a cheerful conversation while trying to kill one another, including which sewing supply store Bandette got the fabric of her cape from.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Did you see those posters with the assumed vaudeville magician Madame Presto in Bandette's hideouts? It's alluded that she's deeply connected with the Plouffe family and is key to uncovering a treasure known as The House of the Green Mask.
  • Classy Cat-Burglar / Gentleman Thief: Bandette and Monsieur. They are highly cultured and implied to be from respectable backgrounds. Bandette is much less sexualised than the usual Classy Cat-Burglar, though.
  • Comic-Book Fantasy Casting: The second hardcopy collection includes notes on which actors inspired certain characters: for example, Bandette is a blend of Audrey Hepburn and Audrey Tautou, Monsieur is an older Cary Grant, and Il Tredici is a blend of Lee Marvin and Henry Fonda in Once Upon a Time in the West.
  • Cool Old Guy: Monsieur appears to be over sixty, but is still out there Roof Hopping.
  • Dogged Nice Guy: Daniel to Bandette, sympathetically portrayed.
  • Domino Mask: Both Bandette's and Matadori's costumes (Monsieur prefers a half-hood.)
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Practically all the sympathetic characters, who are happy to steal valuable objects from rich and unsympathetic collectors or museums that don't put them on public display, but would never commit a crime that seriously harmed an innocent.
  • The Faceless: The Voice is this, and while the first time you actually see him it's because he's standing in front of a spotlight, it's shown that he looks just as shadowy and faceless out in daylight as well.
  • Friendly Rivalry: Monsieur to Bandette. They have quite a friendly relationship, although they disagree over FINIS, with Monsieur thinking that she doesn't take them seriously enough, and Bandette thinking that he's too paternalistic.
  • The Gambler: The Voice arguably has shades of this with his color-coded random cards.
  • Gay Paree
  • High-Heel–Face Turn: Matadori undergoes this after Absinthe tries to kill her. Absinthe's Femme Fatale, Margot, was a twist on this from the beginning, but she is this trope fully now.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: This is the reason Bandette's "fight" with Dart Petite ended within seconds.
  • I Always Wanted to Say That: When Bandette is attacked by Matadori:
    Bandette: And so. We meet at last. Yes! I've always wanted to say that!
  • I Love You Because I Can't Control You: Femme Fatale Valentina falls for Michael the Brute, the only man who didn't fall for her charms.
  • Ignored Enamored Underling: B D's sidekick Heloise is secretly in love with him.
  • Interrupted Intimacy: The opening burglary in the first issue ends when Bandette discovers that the guy she thought was out was at home making out with some woman.
  • Karmic Thief: Bandette is this far more often than her rival Monsieur, usually reclaiming already stolen artifacts and returning (most of) them to their original owners.
  • Manic Pixie Dream Girl: Bandette appears to be this from Daniel's point of view.
  • Mistress Of The Mixed Message: Bandette to Daniel.
  • Nebulous Evil Organisation: FINIS.
  • Non-Standard Character Design: B D Belgique is drawn in a more "cartoony" style than the other characters, with a huge round nose similar to those of Asterix characters.
    • Adversely, characters like Il Tredici and Dart Petite are drawn in a subtly different way to accentuate their maliciousness.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Michael the Brute, one of the hunters of The Artist's Studio painting intentionally fakes idiocy to let people's guards down, although The Brute isn't in their name for nothing.
  • Poirot Speak: Some common French words are used, and the dialogue in general is deliberately written to sound as if it's been translated from French.
  • Punny Name: "B D Belgique" literally means "Belgian Comics" (via the common abbreviation BD of "bande dessinée").
  • Rag Tag Bunch Of Misfits: Bandette's Urchins.
  • Red and Black and Evil All Over: Played with. Bandette's costume is mostly red and black, indicating her criminality, but it's lightened by the primrose yellow lining of her cape, which shows that she isn't that evil. However, this is played absolutely straight with Il Tredici.
  • Romance-Inducing Smudge: Bandette jokes about this before kissing Daniel after rescuing him in a PG-rated version of Glad-to-Be-Alive Sex.
    Bandette: You have something on your face.
    Daniel: I do?
    Bandette: Oui, it is Bandette. (Kisses him)
  • Roof Hopping: Bandette does this a lot.
  • Shout-Out: A carnival scene has panels on the same page featuring stalls called "Goscinny's Paper Banners" and "Uderzo's Candies". The stallholders are caricatures of Rene Goscinny and Albert Uderzo, the co-creators of Asterix.
  • Sound-Only Death: The apparent killing of Matadori by gunshot.
  • Sympathetic Inspector Antagonist: B D Belgique and his partner Heloise.
  • Talking Is a Free Action: Bandette does this all the time.
  • The Unfettered: Bandette even stoops to extortion when Daniel is kidnapped by The Voice.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Bandette and her beloved candy bars.
  • Vile Villain, Saccharine Show: Not exactly a saccharine show, but more of a comedic romp inspired by Tintin. That doesn't stop FINIS and a good number of its hired assassins to fall under this.
    • Absinthe, who runs a supposedly benevolent society that's secretly responsible for almost all crime in France in the last twenty years.
    • Il Tredici also qualifies with his gaunt appearance and his brutal methods of dispatching his targets- they don't call him "The Strangler" for nothing.
    • Then comes along The Voice, who turns out to be the one who had originally trained Absinthe making him the Greater-Scope Villain of the first story arc. In addition, he makes his subordinates choose how they die, threatened Margo and her family into making her a complicit pawn, and kidnaps Daniel from right outside Bandette's hideout and has his chief henchwoman torture him for information.
  • Waif-Fu: Bandette's preferred combat technique.
  • Wig, Dress, Accent: Bandette wears a curly red wig over her natural short black hair.
  • You Have Failed Me: FINIS to Matadori