Another chapter of Dave Kelly and Lara Antal’s The Night Watchman series arrives in The Night Watchman: Staycation, a brief prologue that lets blogger, barista, and roomie to the Night Watchman, Nora, take center stage. While the supernatural elements of a standard Night Watchman tale maybe absent, writer Kelly and artist Antal still bring the heart, humor, and humanity, as always.
MINOR SPOILERS BELOW
As I mentioned previously, The Night Watchman: Staycation is a prologue to the rest of the Night Watchman series and takes place before Tales of the Night Watchman: Volume One, Issue One. Kelly’s story focuses on Nora’s beach getaway with her blonde friend, Trish. While the ladies‘ time off starts out full of fun and sun, when night falls, the story takes a slightly more serious and somber twist.
Kelly’s script is fun and easily digestible, as usual, in this appetizer-sized story, and Antal’s artwork is just as skilled and expressive as readers will remember from previous issues. Kelly allows a good amount of the comic to remain sans dialogue, and while the storytelling weight falls on Antal in those occasions, she completely succeeds in the endeavor. It’s also nice that Kelly allows his female characters to possess sexuality without shaming them, without punishing them, and without reducing them to ridiculous outfits or back-breaking poses.
I will say that The Night Watchman: Staycation did provide me with some confusion, but it might easily be of my own doing. First off, I’m not sure if I’ve blocked her from my memory, but I felt like I should know the character of Trish but couldn’t place her. Again, this could be the failure of my own over-taxed memory, but it made unclear as to whether the importance of the friendship of Trish and Nora extended beyond this issue. The issue also has an ambiguous ending, which could be an intentional, off-beat choice, but certainly had me checking to see if I had somehow misplaced a few more pages of story.
FINAL VERDICT: If you’ve followed my reviews, you know I’ve become a big fan of The Night Watchman series, and, despite my minor issues with The Night Watchman: Staycation, I’d still recommend it for purchase by my fellow comic book sniffers . . . just purchase a few of the other Night Watchman books first! Staycation is a tasty, little cherry on top of the ice cream sundae that is The Night Watchman series and must be consumed as such. I also imagine that Staycation will work perfectly down the road as an excellent edition to the first Night Watchman trade paperback.
Also, be sure to check out my previous reviews from the Tales of The Night Watchman series:
That’s all for now, comic book sniffers . . . growers and show-ers alike!
’Till the end of the world,
Bryant the Comic Book Slayer