Review – Midnight Society: The Black Lake #1

Story and Art: Drew Edward Johnson
Colors: Lizzy John
Letters: Steve Dutro
Cover: Drew Edward Johnson & Lizzy John

Monsters, mayhem, mysticism and SCIENCE! All of these rest within the pages of Midnight Society, a pulp comic embracing the supernatural fabled creatures of the world. The story from Drew Edward Johnson brings a deep blend of science and monster fiction to life, shrinking devices, flying packs and mystical monsters fill the world and the explorers around the globe are on the warpath to make their name in history while basking in the fame of society.

The story takes readers into the efforts of two such explorers, looking to find the answers to one fabled creature, knowing they risk toying with forces well beyond their control as they go on the pursuit. It’s a challenge of explorer curiosity and responsibility, are findings simply for educational use or something to tag and exploit as a trophy? Where are the lines and limits to a frontier as new as this or is it simply a case of wild freedom.

Johnson pursues these questions while spinning a world deep in pulp themes, from the language to the setting, it’s a complete throwback while embracing some alternative history freedoms where old-time science fiction comes to life and mystical arts are alive and well when need be. Johnson sets Matilda Finn on her mission to find and save the lives of those lost within The Black Lake and gives her challenges that will place her into her toughest situations of her career as a secret agent so far.

Lizzy John and Drew Edward Johnson do well as a duo in this book, bouncing off each other through the pages with detailed illustrations and intense color selections to help sell the emotion of each panel, going from drab darkness to vivid moments of fight or flight that capture the eye. Johnson delivers a heavy amount of detail with characters and creatures alike, allowing each page to read with even more detail than the dialogue itself as eyes and body gesture speak volumes in each panel.

Overall Midnight Society: The Black Lake is a welcome addition into the Dark Horse line-up, it certainly shows promise early on with upcoming installments sure to help show mysteries about Matilda and her employers.

Links: Pre-Order
Release Date: June 10, 2015

Story:★★★★☆ 
Art:★★★★½ 
Dialog:★★★½☆ 
Overall:★★★★☆ 

Review – No Rest for the Wicked – A Basil and Moebius Adventure

Magnetic Press is in full force this week helping push news on the release of the Adventures of Basil and Moebius graphic novel. Instead of just ads or trailers or promo material though, they launched a short film titled No Rest for the Wicked. The film is a quick shot introducing the characters and a bit of how they get down to business. Ray Park, Malcom McDowell and even Zachary Levi join up for the central characters in this brawl and heist storyline.

For those new to the series as I am, it’s a rougher introduction, we don’t get much story on Basil or Moebius coming in, the movie with time constraint focuses on the here and now and slowly sprinkles in bits of those details at the end which do help tidy things up. That said, even with the budget and time limitations they do tell a fun story through action and script of course. Gestures and mannerisms of each character start to emerge which set these two apart and help tell why they’re in this high security flat to begin with.

Is there more to carry out? There always that chance in any media, with the introductions made it’s unlikely to have that cold start in the next installment when it comes along, as the story progressed the stiffer lines and gestures took a step back to let the actors really start feeling in their own zone. Other than that, some plot closures would be nice versus just letting it seem like things just fell into place because they had to.

Personally I do enjoy buddy style movies, Basil and Moebius are that mix of rough behavior and grace that create entertaining conflict and development, a brawler with a smooth talking thief who always has an eye on the prize. I haven’t reviewed the graphic novel yet but I can feel that it would feed the character and story needs I have from sitting through No Rest for the Wicked. When I’m able to complete that I’ll pass along my verdict in a dedicated feature.

For those who want to check out the film on their site give it a go with this link, or you can just check it out below.