David Louis Edelman David Louis Edelman

The DADA Detective

I found a very nice little review of Infoquake the other day on the LiveJournal of a fellow named David Milloway. David calls Infoquake “a truly compelling and unique future setting that mixes programming, bio-genetics (or bio/logics) and economic theory. It reads kinda like a libertarian capitalist Dune, if you swap out the Spice for the Market, replace the dueling Houses with mega corporations, and think of Muad’Dib as less of a messiah and more of a cut-throat entrepreneur looking to make a lot of money.”

The DADA DetectiveAfter poking around a bit on the blog, I discovered that David’s part of a three-person team that produces the online comic strip The DADA Detective. (See the snippet to the right.)

It’s the ongoing tale of a hard-boiled detective hired by a rich heretical talking mime to find her missing duck, with the aid of the mad Doctor Victor von Phlogistein, who once created a geiger counter out of a muffin and who has a large hairy yeti as an assistant. Among the suspects in ze duck’s disappearance: Colonel Dijon; a dastardly masked fellow known as the Red Heron; and Peter Lorre.

There’s something oddly charming about this strip. Milloway and co-writer Matt Wood have a gift for non sequitur, with punch lines that range from wryly amusing to laugh-out-loud funny. The artwork (courtesy of Stephanie Freese) is part Edward Gorey and part Charles Schulz. And the whole thing is just addictive as hell. I started clicking through and got to episode 60 before I even looked up. (Start with episode 1 and you’ll see what I mean.)

Still not convinced these guys have talent? Then you simply must check out their Chocolypse Now, a mash-up of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and Heart of Darkness, including a candy-themed parody of T. S. Eliot’s The Hollow Men that made me snort up a mouthful of Coke Zero onto my keyboard.

I took the liberty of e-mailing David to try to get the scoop about the DADA Detective. The three behind the DADA Detective agreed to a micro-email-interview here on my blog. So here goes:

Q: Give me the quick and dirty background on the three of you.

A: Matt Wood, Stephanie Freese, and Dave Milloway have been good friends since college. Stephanie has a degree in painting. Matt and Dave are both English grads and comics nerds who somehow convinced Stephanie to get involved in illustrating a story that, god willing, will never again see the light of day. Despite that disaster, we’ve continued collaborating for nigh on 10 years now. Our work meetings get pretty silly sometimes, but we think that’s one of our strengths — our goofing around has produced our best ideas. See Chocolypse Now and the DADA Detective.

Q: You’re standing in an elevator when suddenly Neil Gaiman, R. Crumb, and Art Spiegelman all walk in. You tell them you’ve got this great online comic strip and they ask you what it’s about. What do you say?

A: Considering we like to tailor our pitch to our audience, we’d say something like: “It’s about a hard boiled P.I. hired by a talking mime to find a missing duck named Alistair. It’s kinda like if Philip Marlowe got drunk with Edward Gorey and decided to play a prank on Salvador Dali.”

Q: How long are you planning on keeping the DADA Detective going? Does the story have an ending?

A: I would say we’re close to half way through. Despite the absurdity, we do have a story with an actual ending that might even make sense, given it takes place in a town called Dadaville. Dadaism is more an inspiration than a guiding light. We’ve developed the story in broad strokes, of course, with lots of room for improvisation. That’s the fun of a serial, after all.

The DADA Detective #76

(There’s a much more comprehensive interview posted on Comixpedia that’s worth reading, too.)

(If you’re hooked, you can get the book at Lulu.com for the bargain price of ten bucks. Go throw these guys some love.)

Comments RSS Feed

  1. Josh on December 28, 2006 at 7:27 pm  Chain link
  2. Josh on December 28, 2006 at 7:28 pm  Chain link

    …too busy clicking through the episodes to post a comment…another addicting internet comic claims a victim–I have no scroll button, and I must scream…

  3. weight loss on January 7, 2015 at 12:38 am  Chain link

    Awesome articles you post here, i have shared this article on my twitter

  4. Freeman on July 24, 2016 at 4:14 am  Chain link

    I see you don’t monetize your blog,you can make some extra money, just search in google for: ideas
    by Loocijano

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