A young sleuth determinedly sets out to nab the thief who is spiriting sandwiches from his school lunchbox in this French Canadian import.
They are not just ordinary sandwiches. For one thing, Marin explains, his foodie mom makes the bread using flour “bought from a secret bakery run by kung fu monks.” For another, they’re delicious: ham, cheddar, and kale on Mondays; tuna, sundried tomatoes, and homemade mayo on Tuesdays, and so forth. Since the lunchbox has to stay out in the hall with everyone else’s, he can’t watch it directly—but he can complain (fruitlessly) to the principal, set traps, look for clues, and consider possible suspects. Doyon illustrates Marin’s campaign in jaggedly angular scenes highlighted with areas of gray and an orangey red that reflects the bereft lad’s sustained outrage. Blocks of first-person narration and dialogue in a “handwritten” typeface floating in the spacious margins add to the episode’s overall informal look. The limited palette makes it hard to discern skin color: when the characters are not stark white, they may be yellow. In the end, the culprit is revealed and justice served at once thanks to a sandwich laced with “flavor balls” tasting of “dirt-tar-soap-cough-syrup-cat-pee-chalk-vomit.” Ew.
A tempest in a lunchbox, but just deserts are dished up in a lip-smacking denouement. (Graphic fiction. 9-11)