I had the honour and pleasure to read Minky Woodcock, the comic series by Cynthia Von Buhler published by Hard Case Crime – Titan Comics, all in one night. The whole series passed in front of my eyes in a few hours. When something is great enough to capture my attention, I dive into it till I don’t reach the end of the Maelstrom. And, in the case of Cynthia Von Buhler’s work, it’s a real vortex of emotions, adventure and suspense. It’s all this and much more, if we consider also the quotes to great classics of investigative literature and pop culture.
Valentina by Crepax, a hint of Italian comics style, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Hercule Poirot, Sin City, Sam & Max and a lot of other elements like those are embroidered in this well-crafted comics series that will lead the reader into a murderous world made of illusion, hidden truths, eroticism and esotericism. All with a drawing style that remembers both the videogame XIII and the pop paintings by Roy Lichtenstein. It’s a really well mixed plot made of words and images. You won’t be able to leave our beloved Minky alone for a second.
“The witch is often understood as a mishmash of sometimes contradictory clichés: sexually forthright but psychologically mysterious; threatening and haggish but irresistibly seductive; a kooky believer in cultish mumbo-jumbo and a canny she-devil; a sophisticated holder of arcane spiritual knowledge and a corporeal being who is no thought and all instinct.” In that way Naomi Fry, staff writer of the New Yorker, described witches, and I suppose we can use the same words to describe Minky Woodcock. She is a witch, a seer, a cocotte and a femme fatale. She is cute and strong at the same time. There are no possibilities not to fall in love with a woman like her. For those who knows her, Minky is really near to Miss Phryne Fisher from the homonym series.
I won’t tell you too much about this mesmerizing story. Every word I would spend on the plot could say more than necessary, and I know there is a hidden divinity that punishes spoiler tellers. So I would just sum up the beginning of Minky Woodcock adventures. Henry Houdini it’s in the spotlight because he is constantly debugging spiritualists and someone does not like this kind of behavior. Minky is pulled in the middle of this great mess by a famous person, a writer you should remember for his renowned books, and she will risk dying many times. Ok, that’s enough, few words to the wise…
Honorable mention goes to Simon Bowland who did a wonderful lettering work and the character of Agatha, a lovely white rabbit that will follow you also in the real world. Hurry up Minky, time’s passing by and there’s a case to solve!
Oh, and this is just a suggestion for music lovers: try to read this comics series listening to Django Reinhardt or The Rosemberg Trio. All the world depicted by Cynthia Von Buhler will come to life more than expected.