Posted at 12:00 PM Mar 24, 2010
By Jill Pantozzi
I've always considered myself a night owl. If you ask me to wake up before noon, you'll be met with a hearty grumble or, at the very least, a weak sob. More than once I've been compared to a vampire, something I take as a proud compliment even if it wasn't meant as such. Maybe that's why I like The Night Owls, Volume 1. It's the latest release from DC Comics' web imprint Zuda. Written by Peter Timony and illustrated by his twin brother Bobby Timony, the witty web comic follows three members of a detective agency solving supernatural crimes no one else can. Did I mention the series takes place in the roaring 20's and that one of the detectives is a gargoyle?
The Timony Twins, as Peter and Bobby are well-known, put together a unique brand in The Night Owls. Although the story is one overall arc, with early plot threads being picked up down the road, it's not something you need to read straight through. The stories themselves vary between quick one-page guffaws and others lasting several pages to deal with a more in-depth case. The humor sometimes sneaks up on you, and the dialogue overall is pleasantly clever. For instance: "A woman is like a tea bag! You never know how strong they are until you're in hot water!" The entire volume is done in sepia tones, minus one section, where The Night Owls visit a parallel world, bursting with color. Along with several panels resembling title cards, it gives the book a silent film feel perfect for the era.
Professor Ernest Baxter, the leader of The Night Owls, is a shy guy who "uses his vast knowledge of ancient mystery and modern science to fight supernatural crime." He can't go out in the daylight, but the reason is quite more than you'd expect. His female assistant, Mindy Markus, is a "scrappy flapper," and that's no understatement. This gal's got moxie and style. And, we can't forget Roscoe, the aforementioned gargoyle. He loves hot dogs but will eat pretty much anything if you leave it in front of him. He's from the Bronx. There are a few other minor characters, a romantic sub-plot and tons of monsters and villains, but The Night Owls is suitable for all ages.
Next time you've got a werewolf infestation or a dragon or a ghost hanging around, don't call the Ghostbusters, call The Night Owls. Sure you'll get charged up the wazoo for that phone call 80 years into the past, but it's totally worth it. The Night Owls Volume 1 is on sale today.