Bernie Gonzalez: Midnight Mystery Volume One
Paranormal investigator is one of my favorite sub genres of fiction. From Scooby Doo to X-Files to Hellboy. I like the mystery, I like the clear lines drawn between good and evil, and I like that they are usually rooted in something from the real world, some sort of history or folklore. Combine paranormal investigator with film noir and render it in an art style reminiscent of Batman the Animated Series, and you have a winner in my book.
The strong visuals, thick black inks on blocky illustrations paired with great flat colors remind me of Mike Mignola and Darwyn Cooke, right up my alley.
Midnight Mystery was originally published through Alterna Comics, but it is now out of print. Midnight mystery Volume One is now available in an oversized deluxe edition, reprinting the first three issues of the original floppy mini series plus a new illustrated short story. The stories are remastered, I guess that’s what you would call it? They have additional pages and panels added to their original printing, maybe like a director’s cut of a movie in trade paperback form.
The book kicks off with Reel Evil, parts one and two, which leads into the overarching story of the series so far. Our private investigator is hired to find the heir to the estate of a deceased late night horror host. Just when the case should be wrapping up, things get crazy with skulls and souls and fire. The intro to the case reminds me of the beginning of the Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler, and I’m sure that was intentional.
The third story flips the pages into a landscape layout which gives it a unique feel. It’s a stand alone story called the Burning Bride. It’s an enjoyable twisting ghost story about justice and it’s refreshing in that it manages to tell a complete story in one issue. Sadly, that feels rare nowadays.
The final story of the book is the prose story, The House That Satan Built. Written in a sort of Mickey Spillane style, Zeke King follows an investigation to Voodoo country in the deep south. The dark supernatural backdrop is what stands out on the first read, but the dedication to serve, the self sacrifice that the hero demonstrates in service of his client is why I like it.
There are currently two more volumes of Midnight Mystery available that carry on the story and Bernie Gonzalez maintains the quality throughout the books.
Purchase the books at https://www.mysterycomic.com/
and thank the author for his excellent work. https://twitter.com/iwantmystery