'Tales of the Night Watchman' Spin-offs: 'A Comic Guide to Brewing' and 'Walking into Traffic: Roxy'


Comic Guide to BRewingQuick, what’s the difference between a macchiato and a latte? Not sure? Would you expect an amateur investigative reporter / superhero sidekick to set you straight? That’s exactly what happens in these coffee centric spin-offs to Tales of the Night Watchman.

(pronounced either “Tott-nee-wim” or “Tote-new-em”) is the creation of writer Dave Kelly and artist Lara Antal.  You can read Fanboy Comics’ review of issue one here.  It tells the story of Nora Cashin, a barista blogger who becomes roommates with Charlie Maxwell, her co-worker.  While Nora really wants to be an investigative journalist, it is Charlie who currently fights crime as The Night Watchman, a detective specter from the 1940s who inhabits his body.   

Antal is also a barista by trade.  During the 2012 International 24 Hour Comic Day, she wrote and illustrated A Comic Guide to Brewing.

The character of Nora is our comic and comical guide to brewing. The book is a charming exposé of the best ways to make coffee at home (french press is her personal favorite!) and how to show your barista grace when you order espresso (every café makes it differently!).  This is a piece that’s characterized by great lettering over great sketching.  Blocks and blocks of text that rival the amount of prose Frank Miller stuffs into his work doesn’t overwhelm the reader.  The words turn into swirling steam of recipes and foamy drips of ingredients.  Plus, by using Nora’s area of expertise, Antal immerses us into her original voice.  She’s relishing, clever, and friendly.  

Along with Brewing, there’s Walking into Traffic, another spin-off series of Tot-’n-Wam that stars Serena Filbey, a squatter pick-pocket that The Night Watchman scares straight.  In the single issue Roxy, Serena commences spring cleaning of her rooftop abode and discovers a pair of exotic panties embroidered with the titular name.  Where did she get those? The memory takes her back to a romantic night with a coffee shop customer, but an air of mystery hangs over the affair . . .  

It’s a short, ‘zine style comic, so to describe it in too much detail defeats reading it.  The black-and-white art is crammed with liveliness and humor. It’s the tale of the woman you DON’T want to pick up late on a Saturday night.  Both titles are available at the official comic site.    

If you like coffee curators or affaires de coeur, then you might dig these spin-off titles.




Last modified on Sunday, 11 March 2018 02:23

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