Book Title: Nita Hawes’ Nightmare Blog #2

Book Description: In the first issue of Nita Hawes’ Nightmare Blog, we met the title character, Nita Hawes. Her parents were killed at a young age leaving her to raise her younger brother, Jason. He was shot and killed on his way home from school because he was in the wrong place when a drug deal went bad. Even though Jason passed away his spirit remains tethered to our plane and frequently visits Nita.

Jason is a big part of why Nita studied the paranormal. She became so knowledgeable that she teaches parapsychology at Morgan State University. Nita also has what she dubbed “The Nightmare Blog”. In this blog, she describes her paranormal experiences and tries to help others.

At the end of the first issue, a janitor at a nursing home reached out to her through the blog. He believed that one of the residents had been possessed by a demon.

The second installment gives us the tale “Howling Henry”. He was a star musician that specialized in the blues during the 1960s. We see how he was viewed and treated by the agents for the record label that wanted to sign him. Henry has reservations about signing on and finding out that he’ll earn pennies on the dollar with the label essentially owning him.

After getting some legal advice he signs the deal and makes a killing for a few years. Then he seemed to disappear for 50 years until he turned up in a catatonic state at a nursing home…. The same home the janitor works in.

When we come back to the present the janitor has been brutally murdered. Nita arrives at the scene and tells the detective that she had been contacted by the victim. The two of them discuss how it’s possible someone was using Henry’s good name for illicit purposes, and not for the first time.

At home, Nita discusses Henry’s case with Jason. That’s when we learn that the catatonic tend to be possessed frequently. But they have to agree to it. In short, Henry made a deal with the Devil to get back at somebody.

Book Author: Rodney Barnes

Book Format: Paperback

Publisher - Orgnization: Image Comics

Publisher Logo:

Illustrator: Well Bee

  • Story
    (4.1)
  • Interior Art
    (3.9)
  • Cover Art
    (3.8)
  • Dialogue
    (3.3)
  • Mechanics
    (4.3)
  • Editing
    (3.3)
3.8

Summary

It never ceases to amaze me how Mr. Barnes can go from introducing a character to making the reader feel they truly know that character in such a small handful of pages. We saw it with Toppy, Jupiter, and Abigail Adams in Killadelphia. “Howling Henry” is the latest to go on this list.

Mr. Barnes doesn’t pull any punches describing the exploitation of African Americans in show business during the flashback. The record label agents made it abundantly clear they fully intended to do Henry dirty from the word go.

The cover artwork on this issue reminds me of how the credits were done for “Se7en”. Having Howling Henry a little bit out of focus adds mystery and intrigue. I like that. I also like that this cover demonstrates that the artwork doesn’t necessarily have to fill the entire page to get someone’s attention. Sometimes less is more.

The artistic styles of Well Bee and Jason Shawn Alexander are remarkably similar. If I hadn’t seen the credits I would have thought this was Mr. Alexander’s work. The artwork meshes perfectly with Mr. Barnes’ writing style and pulls the reader deeper into the story.

As a geek on a budget, I’m thoroughly enjoying Nita Hawes’ Nightmare Blog. It has a great story and artwork. It’s well worth the price of admission. Best of all, we’re still early enough in the series that you should be able to find all of the issues and be caught up in half an hour of binge reading. It’s better than most of the stuff on cable!

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