Hollywood players are stepping up to get an Encyclopedia Brown movie off the ground, and the word “franchise” is being thrown around (Ridley Scott would be a producer). This news is like Belinda Carlisle’s appearance in Playboy; appreciated – but a little late in the game. When I was a young reader, I was an Encyclopedia Brown junky (i.e. giant dork). Whenever the Scholastic book order forms came around, I was loading up on more E.B.
I was such a huge fan, that I still remember the details of how my enthusiasm came to an end. E.B. was big on the kind of mysteries that were solved when the culprit tipped his/her hand by saying something that only the person responsible for the “crime” would know. So in this last story I read, E.B. says, “the answer is only an arrow flight away”. So the guilty party says something like,”well let’s go outside and see”. To which E.B.’s aha! response was, “since we were standing next to these skinny stairs you would have thought I said a ‘narrow flight’ away and headed upstairs – only the guilty person would know that the real answer would be outside”. What kind of bullshit is that? And so a cynic was born.
I never read another page of E.B. Which isn’ty to say that I haven’t enjoyed the numerous parodies that find their way around the internet. These GaTech guys have a good example of the art form. However, the Modern Humorist’s Encyclopedia Brown: The Complete Case Book is the best way to kill time on a Friday afternoon.