Bad Kids Press 2015
Created, Written & Lettered by Paul Axel
Illustrated by Renee Majkut
Formatted by Tom Majkut
Over the past year or so I’ve been extremely privileged to be reviewing so many self-published books, thanks to them and to kickstarter and the like. I’m always up for when I’m sent something i’ve never heard of and the blurb sounds promising, in this case we get the first case of a detective from Chicago and a murder mystery as nice welcome to town present. The victim also happens to be one of the city's biggest men so they’ll be a lot pressure on him to solve this quickly.
I have to say when we I see a new book like this one of the first things i flip through to check out is the interior artwork. I will admit that at first I thought it a tad immature but then I took a really good at it and began to appreciate what I was looking at. The attention to detail in his jacket, the way the ink is strong on the linework and the way the colours seem to be washed and flow like a nice watercolour. The detail we have that in the panels that highlight what’s important to see it’s really rather nice. It has a unique quality about that I find charming.
I love a good mystery and this one took me a little by surprise. I like how Robles was able to see the crime scene and evaluate showing off a sharp mind and nice skills. It wasn’t hard to notice the book on the table in front of the dead man and it didn’t take a giant leap to say it is probably important in some aspect to what has happened what I wasn’t prepared for is the age of the book and what it contains.
That there is a similar murder in the book that goes back to colonial times to one that has taken place in the present adds a touch of the unknown and impossible that is a nice twist. Suddenly the story seems to be more about the past intertwining with the present in some way that causes the reader to pause and think. Is there some supernatural thing going on here or is this just case of history repeating itself? We aren’t sure and that’s part of the appeal.
The past comes back to haunt the present in this new murder mystery from Paul and it’s a well crafted first issue full of weirdness and fascination. The characterization is very well done, the introduction and setup is great and the interior artwork stands out. From concept to execution this is a great offering and it only goes to show once again that sometimes you will find something that sticks with you after reading it from the most unexpected of places. This is why I encourage everyone to visit the little guys you don’t know at conventions, look for them in Previews and take a chance when reading reviews like this one.