Sasquatch Detective #1
Writer: Brandee Stillwell
Artists: Ron Randall, Gustavo Vazquez
Colorists: Ross Campbell, Chris Sotomayor
Letterer: Dave Sharpe
Publisher: DC Comics
Review by Michael Farris, Jr.
Before she was the Sasquatch Detective, Tonya Lightfoot was just your typical teenage sasquatch girl living life in the Appalachian Mountains with her parents and brother. The family spent their time watching TV through the window of the Park Ranger station, teaching late-night golf and tennis classes to other forest creatures, and freaking out campers. When her dad and brother are kidnapped and almost exposed by bigfoot hunters, Tonya decides to apply to the LAPD to show the world that sasquatches aren’t all that bad. Named after a figure skater who her mom thought had spunk and promise, Tonya uses her own spunk and promise to land a job as the first sasquatch detective.
Tonya the Sasquatch Detective first appeared as a backup story in Exit Stage Left: The Snagglepuss Chronicles. Created by actress and writer Brandee Stillwell (who has some experience on shows like Family Guy), Tonya proved to be endearing enough to fans to get her own book. The first 30 pages of Sasquatch Detective #1 include her backstory and the following pages in this 64-page special are the backups that appeared in the Snagglepuss books.
Having never read the Snagglepuss backups, I really had no idea what to expect. All I know is that I have a weird fascination with sasquatches and their yeti kin. I remember spending one Christmas break with my sister and her family, and basically all we did during that time was watch Finding Bigfoot. After reading this book, I almost feel bad spending all that time rooting for the bigfoot hunters.
Stillwell’s story and character are full of heart and humor. I found myself legitimately laughing out loud a few times (favorite moment goes to how the sasquatches blame bears on campsite destruction). There’s a healthy diet of poop jokes to go around, but just enough that it’s funny and not a joke she keeps relying on for humor. I’m also glad that all the stories that came before the first 30 pages were included to give me a good fill on this fun character. One other minor detail that I ended up appreciating was how Tonya came from a healthy, mostly-functional family. Stillwell alludes to this in her introduction, but it is a nice reminder that not all comic book characters need a horribly tragic backstory to still be interesting.
The artwork was detailed but cartoonish enough to match the light-hearted nature of the stories. I particularly enjoyed how expressive the sasquatches were and how they had near-humanlike features but were still uniquely squatchy.
Verdict: Buy it.
In addition to the already-existing stories, Sasquatch Detective gives us the origin story that nobody really asked for but didn’t know they need until now. It’s a fun and funny way to spend your time when you’re not binging Finding Bigfoot and trying to decide whether or not sasquatch is real.