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The Drained Brains Caper (Chicagoland Detective Agency #1)

3.29  ·  Rating details ·  144 Ratings  ·  49 Reviews
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. To
Hardcover, 58 pages
Published August 1st 2010 by Graphic Universe
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Giovanni Gelati
Sep 10, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 @; 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 Agenc
Wow, what a huge disappointment. After a great setup, the story descends into cliches and tired storylines. It's a shame, because it starts with a bang: thirteen-year-old Megan bursts into a pet shop and asks to buy a tarantula. The unsuspecting young man at the counter- Raf- informs her that they don't actually sell animals at this pet store, and the foundation of an eventual friendship is laid. Megan is sent to a summer prep school, tellingly named the Stepford Preparatory Academy, and thus be ...more
Brian Alvarado
Mar 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Imagine that you just moved to a new town and had to go to a school that has a strange environment, what would you do?. Well in this fictional graphic novel about mystery, whose title is Chicagoland Detective Agency, The Drained Brains Caper by Trina Robbins and illustrated by Tyler Page, was great, because of of it’s enjoyable illustrations and dialogue, plus it was so enjoyable that it even felt short when I read it.

Megan Yamamura moved recently in the Chicagoland during summer. She met Raf He
With eco-friendly lifestyles becoming increasingly more visible & popular, it makes good sense for someone to put out a book filled with those themes & similar ones. After all, kids can be into cruelty-free pet shops, animal rescue, & anti-establishment issues too, you know.

Chicagoland #1 follows the adventures of Trina (a free spirited young vegetarian who isn't afraid to speak her mind) & Raf (a computer savvy son of a pet-free supply store) as they attempt to figure out exactl
Sep 20, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Scooby-Doo fans
Recommended to Skjam! by: the artist
Megan Yamamura wants a pet. Unfortunately, the young poet’s (she specializes in haiku) father is allergic to all fur-bearing animals, so she’s thinking maybe a tarantula, which is fuzzy but not furry might be the best bet.

She’s been looking all over her new city of Chicagoland and having no luck when she comes into the pet supply store Raf Hernandez is manning the counter of. The young computer whiz is helping out his mother, but the store’s policy is clear–they sell pet supplies, not animals.

Dec 29, 2010 rated it liked it
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?

Oct 03, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Okay, so I have decided to check out graphic novels and my first is Chicagoland Detective Agency: The Drained Brains Caper #1. Comic books weren't my thing back in the day and I really didn't think that graphic novels would be any different. And my second concern was what kind of story can be told in so few pages. My thoughts have changed after reviewing the work of Trina Robbins and Tyler Page.

Megan was an infectious character from page one, keeping the madness of the story full of life in a wa
Wandering Librarians
Megan Yamamura, anime lover, and writer of haiku, has just moved to Chicagoland and unfortunately for her, is now starting summer school at Stepford Preparatory Academy. Megan knows something strange is going on on her first day: why are all the kids so...weird? Will she be able to find out what's going on at Stepford Prep? Or will she become one of them?

As the name of the school suggests, all the kids were being brainwashed by an evil scientist. Megan is captured, but escapes with the help of R
Dec 05, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interest group: Boys or girls
target audience: grade 5+, although younger grades should be able to read it

This graphic novel is a take off of the Stepford Wives story but geared for kids but with a twist! The graphics were great and the story was really funny! Megan reminded me of the girl from Beetlejuice but younger. The premise of the story is not new and the characters are not all that new either but they are really funny! Sometimes I didn't understand what was being said and I had to think
Gecky Boz
Bountiful Brains

I read this book at

This book gets a 3 gnomes and a hat out of 5 gnomes, it's a really fun read and the drawing is well done but sadly the one I read was in black and white it would have definitely would have been a 4 out of 5 if the whole book was in color.

The two main characters are pretty well fleshed out for what's essentially an origin story. Megan's writing in haikus is a nice touch to the dialogue. The villain is great and reminded me of Count Olaf from the A
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Trina Robbins is an American comics artist and writer. She was an early and influential participant in the underground comix movement, and one of the few female artists in underground comix when she started. Her first comics were printed in the East Village Other. She later joined the staff of a feminist underground newspaper It Ain't Me, Babe, with whom she produced the first all-woman comic book ...more
More about Trina Robbins...

Other Books in the Series

Chicagoland Detective Agency (6 books)
  • The Maltese Mummy (Chicagoland Detective Agency)
  • Night of the Living Dogs
  • The Big Flush
  • The Bark in Space
  • A Midterm Night's Scheme