Tropedia

  • Before making a single edit, Tropedia EXPECTS our site policy and manual of style to be followed. Failure to do so may result in deletion of contributions and blocks of users who refuse to learn to do so. Our policies can be reviewed here.
  • All images MUST now have proper attribution, those who neglect to assign at least the "fair use" licensing to an image may have it deleted. All new pages should use the preloadable templates feature on the edit page to add the appropriate basic page markup. Pages that don't do this will be subject to deletion, with or without explanation.
  • All new trope pages will be made with the "Trope Workshop" found on the "Troper Tools" menu and worked on until they have at least three examples. The Trope workshop specific templates can then be removed and it will be regarded as a regular trope page after being moved to the Main namespace. THIS SHOULD BE WORKING NOW, REPORT ANY ISSUES TO Janna2000, SelfCloak or RRabbit42. DON'T MAKE PAGES MANUALLY UNLESS A TEMPLATE IS BROKEN, AND REPORT IT THAT IS THE CASE. PAGES WILL BE DELETED OTHERWISE IF THEY ARE MISSING BASIC MARKUP.

READ MORE

Tropedia
Advertisement
Farm-Fresh balance.pngYMMVTransmit blue.pngRadarWikEd fancyquotes.pngQuotes • (Emoticon happy.pngFunnyHeart.pngHeartwarmingSilk award star gold 3.pngAwesome) • Refridgerator.pngFridgeGroup.pngCharactersScript edit.pngFanfic RecsSkull0.pngNightmare FuelRsz 1rsz 2rsz 1shout-out icon.pngShout OutMagnifier.pngPlotGota icono.pngTear JerkerBug-silk.pngHeadscratchersHelp.pngTriviaWMGFilmRoll-small.pngRecapRainbow.pngHo YayPhoto link.pngImage LinksNyan-Cat-Original.pngMemesHaiku-wide-icon.pngHaikuLaconicLibrary science symbol .svg SourceSetting

File:Bookhunter.jpg

Bookhunter is a 2007 comic book by Jason Shiga.

In 1973, a priceless book is stolen from the Oakland Public Library. Three agents from the Library Police are called in to investigate: Agent Bay (detective), Agent Walker (document analyst), and Agent Finch (fingerprint expert).

Their investigation manages to hit all the usual Police Action Film tropes: foot chases, Perp Sweating, swarming the suspect's apartment with the SWAT team, and so on. The fact that it's the Library Police doing all this is played so straight that the entire thing ends up as a Stealth Parody of the genre.

The book can be purchased on Amazon, or read here on Jason Shiga's website.


Tropes used in Bookhunter include:
  • Batman Cold Open: The first chapter, in which Agent Bay leads a SWAT team to retrieve books from a "freelance censor".
  • Blown Across the Room: Bay exploits the ridiculous recoil from a shotgun to propel himself across a room, very quickly.
  • Building Swing: Bay gets from one rooftop to another by shooting down a power line and using it to swing across the gap.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Bay observes the library during open hours. Many of the items he observes in this scene wind up being used as weapons in the final scene.
  • Climbing Climax: When the library police swarm the thief's apartment, the thief flees via the window fire escape. Bay follows them up, and a rooftop confrontation ensues.
  • Colliding Criminal Conspiracies: [1]
  • Cop Show
  • Cowboy Cop: Agent Bay takes the over-the-top approach to problem-solving that you would expect from a Cowboy Cop--but, oddly enough, he doesn't get any grief from his partners or superiors for these shenanigans.
  • The Cracker: It's the 70's, so the criminal hacks into a reel-to-reel computer over the phone line.
  • Establishing Character Moment: The opening chapter informs the reader just how much books are Serious Business in this world, and just how far Agent Bay will go to get his perp.
  • Exactly What I Aimed At: Bay throws a library book at the thief and apparently misses--but the book triggers the library's alarm system, preventing the thief's escape.
  • Hollywood Police Driving Academy: We only ever see the library police driving when they're in a legitimate hurry to get somewhere--thus, they're driving fast enough to go airborn on every incline, and barely maintaining control of the car as they screech through turns.
  • In-Series Nickname: After Agent Walker points out that the replica left behind by the thief has a kettle stitch binding the leaflets (rather than the common catch stitch), the library police refer to the thief as "Kettle Stitch".
  • Improvised Weapon: You'd be surprised how many objects in a library can be weaponized.
  • Locked Room Mystery: As Bay himself points out, three concentric locked room mysteries: How did the perp enter the library without picking the lock on the only door? How did he retrieve the book from the safe without leaving any evidence that the safe had been cracked? And how did he leave the library with the book without triggering the anti-theft alarm?
  • Metaphorgotten: Bay's motivational speech in the final chapter.
Cquote1.svg

Agent Bay: It might seem to you that we're grasping at straws. But straws are all we've got left. There is one straw that is going to break this case wide open. Which is why I need each and every one of you to follow your own straw to the bitterest end.

Cquote2.svg
  • Perp and Weapon: In the opening chapter, the perp threatens to immolate himself and his books when the cops come for him.
  • Perp Sweating: Even when the police know that Leslie Stair can't be their thief, they keep up the pressure on him, on the off-chance that he can tell them who the thief is.
  • Phone Trace Race: In this case, Agents Bay and Finch are physically racing towards the pay phone, attempting to catch the perp in the act of phone hacking.
  • The Profiler: "ALA's top profiler" concludes that Kettle Stitch is a loner, speaks with a lisp or stutter, and was a childhood bed-wetter.
  • Quip to Black: "Shhhhhhhh." "Read him his rights."
  • Save the Villain: Subverted. Agent Bay saves the book, and lets the thief fall.
  • Say My Name: This is all Bay can do when the thief evades capture. "Damn you, Kettle Stitch!"
  • Shoot Out the Lock: Surprisingly, realistically portrayed.
  • Soft Glass: Inconsistently used. Apparently glass is harmless if you intentionally jump through it, but dangerous if you're unintentionally flung through it.
  • Splash Panel: A two-page spread to show off the size of the Oakland Public Library.
  • Smoking Gun Control: Twice, Agent Bay thinks he's found a clear link to Kettle Stitch, first with a missing circulation card, then with the counterfeit library card. Both times, the evidence is inconclusive because Kettle Stitch is too good at covering their tracks.
  • Super Window Jump: Useful for SWAT home invasions, or for getting onto the fire escape in a hurry.
  • Stealth Parody
  • To Know Him I Must Become Him: "To catch a thief, you must think like a thief. You must live, eat, and dress like a thief."
  • Treacherous Advisor: Chief Spenser turns out to be the real book thief.
  • What Do You Mean It's Not Awesome?
  • You Have 48 Hours: The library police have three days to retrieve the book, because that's when it's scheduled to be returned to the Library of Congress.
  1. The real reason why Kettle Stitch never tried to fence the book after stealing it--because someone else had stolen the real book before her. The copy she stole was just a replica left behind by the first thief.
Advertisement