The Drained Brains Caper (Chicagoland Detective Agency Series #1)

The Drained Brains Caper (Chicagoland Detective Agency Series #1)

by Trina Robbins, Tyler Page

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Overview

Raf knows Megan is trouble from the moment she steps into his mom's pet food store asking for a tarantula. But there's one thing you can count on in Chicagoland: weird things happen several times a day.

Megan is a vegetarian, manga-reading haiku writer. She definitely doesn't fit in at Stepford Academy, her new summer school. The other students are happy to be in class. Too happy. And everyone looks and acts exactly alike. That's weird.

Megan is determined to dig into Stepford's secrets, but soon she's in way too deep. Raf may be the only human being she knows who can help. But with zombified students, very mad scientists, and the school psychiatrist on their trail, they're going to need a whole lot more help.

We did say that Chicagoland is weird. . .

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781467728775
Publisher: Lerner Publishing Group
Publication date: 09/01/2010
Series: Chicagoland Detective Agency Series , #1
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 39 MB
Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.
Age Range: 9 - 12 Years

About the Author

Writer and feminist herstorian Trina Robbins has been writing books, comics, and graphic novels for over 30 years. Her most recent books are The Brinkley Girls (Fantagraphics) and Forbidden City: the Golden Age of Chinese Nightclubs (Hampton Press). Her newest graphic novel is the three-part YA series Chicagoland Detective Agency for Graphic Universe™.


Tyler Page is an Eisner-nominated and Xeric Grant-winning artist and educator. He illustrated the Graphic Universe series The Chicagoland Detective Agency. He lives in Minneapolis with his wife, author/illustrator Cori Doerrfeld, and their two children.

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The Drained Brains Caper 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
ryvre on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Megan Yamamura is 13 year-old, vegetarian, haiku-spouting, manga fan. She is dismayed when she begins the term at a new school, and all the other students are so boring that something sinister must be afoot. I loved Megan from the start. Her haikus are the high point of the book. Her friend, Raf Hernandez, seems like a great character as well. I hope he is developed more in the next book.The art is utterly fantastic. It's simple, but very expressive. It falls somewhere between traditional American comic art and manga.As a bonus, it's set in Chicago! I loved seeing the Chicago sky line and the el in the background!I'd recommend this to any young adult comic fans, especially those who enjoy manga.
vlcraven on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A romp of a book (appropriate for ages ten and up) that explains the beginning of the Chicagoland Detective Agency, which is run by a talking dog--his story is great--and his assistants, a computer whiz kid and a haiku writing vegan. This comic is great fun and I'm looking forward to the next in the series. Page Tyler's artwork is somewhere between Manga and Western style comics and is perfect for the targeted demographic.
highvoltagegrrl on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This graphic novel for kids 9-12 was a quick read for me and I can see it being a fun read for kids. This is something I think that my niece, who¿s in elementary school, would get a kick out of reading. It was quirky and silly from beginning to end and it was easy to follow what was going on. The haiku writing teenager was a different twist as haiku¿s showed up in different forms throughout the story. Having a genius kid as a best friend never hurts a story and who can resist a plot that contains a sweet and furry dog in it¿s midst as well.As it is the first story that shows us how the detective agency is born, I can see that there could ultimately be many more volumes of this series to come. An author has a lot of room to move when a detective agency is at the base of the storyline¿anything could happen. This is a great book for those reluctant readers that still want picture books or short stories but are making the transition over to more complex stories.
krau0098 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I got a digital copy of this book through Netgalley. It looked like a fun little graphic novel and sounded like an amusing premise. When Megan walks into Raf's pet store he knows she is trouble, she is asking for a pet tarantula afterall. Megan's dad sends her to a exclusive summer prep school where she senses something is not right about the strangely monotonous children there. Will Megan and Raf be able to unravel a devious plot that is set at brainwashing a subset of the juvenile population?Mainly this book is an intro to Megan, Raf and their talking dog friend. It gets the three set up as the Chicagoland Detective Agency.There are some great things about this book. It talks about animal rights, prevention of cruelty to animals, and also touches on the value of independence and creativity. So there are definitely some good messages presented here. The illustration was also very good; it is done in kind of an Americanized Manga style and it is easy to follow and conveys the story well. I was never confused about who is who or what was going on.My biggest complaint with this graphic novel is the dialogue and the plot, both seemed a little second rate to me. The majority of the dialogue is corny and forced sounding, like it fell out of a bad 80's cartoon. I understand that this is a juvenile book, but there are lots of juvenile books out there that are easy to read but don't sound so corny. Also the plot is incredibly predictable and has been done before. Given the premise I was expecting more humor and there is some, but overall the book takes itself pretty seriously.Overall this is an okay read. It would be good for younger reluctant readers and sends some positive messages. The illustrations are spot on but the story itself is pretty corny and predictable.
ElizaJane on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Reason for Reading: This is a Cybils '10 nominee and required reading for me as a graphic novels panelist.Honestly from the cover and title I was expecting corny and campy but what I got was an entertaining old-style private eye detective story involving a mad scientist. The plot is similar to that of Brain Camp, though this time it is a summer prep school where the students seem to all be brain washed into achieving. Add our main character, Megan Yamamura. The new kid in town, a vegan, manga reading, haiku writing girl with gusto and this book is a success. Megan carries this book and is an unforgettable character, whom one just wants to meet up with again. She is joined by Raf, a nerdy computer guy and Bradley, a special dog they rescue from an experiment lab. The story covers their first case and determines how they set up the Detective Agency which will be open for business in book 2 advertised on the last page. A funny, silly, "scoobby doo" type mystery.The art work is fantastic. Done in b/w, at first glance it may disappoint but once you start reading, I realized Megan couldn't have been depicted otherwise. Her beautiful Japanese look dressed in a combo of goth and emo style clothing perfectly suits her. The backgrounds aren't very detailed but the facial expressions are delightful and the sound effects add much to the action. An impressive story. Will look forward to book 2: The Maltese Mummy.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
FeatheredQuillBookReviews More than 1 year ago
Raf Hernandez was not at all happy when Megan Yamamura walked through the door of his Mom's pet supply store saying, "I want to buy a tarantula." Duh, there was a big sign in front of the cash register stating they didn't sell animals. His mom always said, " . . . nobody has the right to own another living creature" and that included not selling them. Megan annoyed Raf even more when she told him she was "politely asked to leave" her old school, was into haiku and read manga. TMI and he wanted her out of there. Out she went and it wasn't long before she was walking the halls of Stepford Preparatory Academy going to summer school. All the kids at that academy looked and acted like a bunch of zombies and even had bandages plastered to their foreheads. They were totally model students and enough to make anyone barf. Speaking of which, the lunches were horrid and there was no way Megan would even touch them because she was vegan. Sloppy Joes were simply out of the question, to say nothing of liver and onions. After school she was off to see Rav and ask him for his cell number and email. He started to warm up to her when she told him how she "totally got expelled from school" for burning her haiku in the girl's room. How cool can it get? It wasn't long before she got into trouble in her new school and her father had to take her to have her head examined at Dr. Vorschak's. After she got rid of her dad, the evil doctor injected her with a knockout drug and had her gagged and bound to a table. The lunatic began to talk about her master plan to make Megan into a model citizen along with the rest of the zombies at the Academy. It would be easy. Dr. Vorschak sneered and said, "A simple nip in the prefrontal lobe of your brain, a tuck in the left and right sides of your head, a squirt of sheep genes in the lymph nodes . . . and you will become a model junior citizen." A mysterious caged mutt was watching carefully as the scene unfolded. Megan began to text a haiku to Raf. Would he be able to rescue her before she got that prefrontal lobotomy? Just what did that mutt know about what was going on at the Academy? Megan, Raf, and "doggy Einstein," Bradley, meet up to solve a fabulously freaky mystery at Stepford Academy. Typically manga is drawn in black and white and I found this to be particularly appealing. This book, the first in the series, introduces Raf Hernandez and Megan Yamamura, who quickly become best friends. To add to the mix is "doggy Einstein," Bradley. Together they form the Chicagoland Detective Agency. I loved the way this mini manga mystery unfolded so smoothly and would love to read the next one in the series. Of course the Chicagoland Detective Agency claims there is "no case too weird" for them to tackle. "The Maltese Mummy" is the next one up in the series and if it is as good as this one (weird and nicely wacky), this series will be a hit! Quill says: Even the most reluctant reader will be turning the pages quickly in this book to find out just what is turning all the kids into zombies at the Stepford Preparatory Academy!
GiovanniG More than 1 year ago
I was really surprised by this when I opened the pages. I knew absolutely nothing about the author, Trina Robbins or this series. What an eye opener! Trina Robbins has been writing for thirty, yes I said thirty years. Her website is @ http://www.trinarobbins.com/; it is cute and very informative. She has penned a variety of graphic novels; just the covers give you a glimpse into the diversity of her work. My fingers cramp up just typing the title to this graphic novel: Chicagoland Detective Agency: The Drained Brains Caper. I enjoyed many things about this: the artwork was really good, the dialogue was engaging, the characters were spot on, the plotline was enjoyable and the young adult theme was refreshing. Trina Robbins has put together a very nice graphic novel and one that can be shared with the whole family. I like the fact I can share this with my youngest children and discuss the reading experience. That now a days is difficult as far too many cross lines that don't need to be crossed. Here is a bit from the graphic novel itself: "Raf knows Megan is trouble from the moment she steps into his mom's pet food store asking for a tarantula. But there's one thing you can count on in Chicagoland: weird things happen several times a day. Megan is a vegetarian, manga-reading haiku writer. She definitely doesn't fit in at Stepford Academy, her new summer school. The other students are happy to be in class. Too happy. And everyone looks and acts exactly alike. That's weird. Megan is determined to dig into Stepford's secrets, but soon she's in way too deep. Raf may be the only human being she knows who can help. But with zombified students, very mad scientists, and the school psychiatrist on their trail, they're going to need a whole lot more help. We did say that Chicagoland is weird..." I hope that you give this graphic novel a chance, pick it up, and have some fun that doesn't come from the DC/Marvel stable. Trina Robbins delivers the total package here and then some. What are you reading today? Check us out and become our friend on Facebook & Linkedin. Go to Goodreads and become our friend there and suggest books for us to read and post on. You can also follow us on Twitter, and the Gelati's Scoop Facebook Fan Page. Did you know you can shop directly on Amazon by clicking the Gelati's Store Tab on our blog? Thanks for stopping by today; We will see you tomorrow. Have a great day. http://www.gelatisscoop.blogspot.com