Like Tales of the Night Watchman: Volume 1 #2, Issue #3 features two separate stories for my fellow comic book sniffers to devour, a continuation of the main storyline written by Dave Kelly and featuring artwork by Lara Antal, as well as ‘The Dwellers of Big Bogie,’ also written by Kelly and featuring the artwork of Amanda Scurti. This format seems to work really well for Night Watchman, allowing Kelly to craft numerous story lines, both episodic and standalone, while still tying the various plots together through subtle, graceful threads. And, while Antal’s artwork is fantastic, expressive, and defines this fan’s vision of what a Night Watchman comic should look like, it’s a joy to see different artists pairing up with Kelly, fleshing out the world of the series and offering their unique takes on the characters.
While Tales of the Night Watchman: Volume 1 #3 isn’t exactly a great place for new readers to begin (Honestly, who are you comic book readers who start with the third issue? Are you out there?), it’s certainly a volume that Night Watchman fans will be eager to get there hands on. Kelly and Antal’s contribution, subtitled "The Long Fall - Part 3," features Charlie unlocking clues to who he was and how his life led to his current existence as the Night Watchman, while Kelly’s story with Scurti introduces a race of sewer-dwelling creatures who seem to have nefarious plot involving the abductions of local children.
Both tales feature Kelly’s trademark, authentic, and believable dialogue. While the supernatural elements of the Night Watchman series are excellently creepy and intriguing, time and again I find myself bonding with this book, because of the honest portrayal of the everyday realities, struggles, and doubts faced by the characters. For example, any creative individual can relate to Nora’s exhausting and overwhelming struggle to be less of a Coffee House manager and more of the writer she truly desires to be, and Kelly smartly includes this story element in both plots, highlighting how much this dream means to the character. It’s not the usual fare when it comes to indie superhero books, and it really makes the Night Watchman series standout as a series worth following with a passion. (Place your holiday order now, comic book sniffers!)
In regards to the artwork, Antal and Scurti both knock it out of the park, vividly conveying the emotion of the characters, deftly interpreting both the humor and darkness in Kelly’s scripts, and demonstrating why black and white will always be a treasured and respected style in the indie comic world.
FINAL VERDICT: I cannot recommend the Night Watchman series enough! This is one indie comic that constantly delivers when it comes to quality of story and artwork, and it is completely worthy of a comic book fan’s support. If you are a fan of dark and quirky, character-driven supernatural stories like The X-Files, Buffy, Angel, or Hellboy, then Tales of the Night Watchman will be right up your alley!
You can find out more about Tales of the Night Watchman: Volume 1 #3, as well as purchase your copy, at the official So What? Press website or on Facebook.
Also, be sure to check out my previous reviews from the Tales of The Night Watchman series:
‘Tales of The Night Watchman Presents: It Came from the Gowanus Canal’ - Comic Book Review (Revenge Is a Dish Best Served Slimy)
That’s all for now, comic book sniffers. I’ve got thirty-six tofu dumplings to scarf.
’Till the end of the world,
Bryant the Comic Book Slayer