Topic: Comic Books - New
TODAY'S FEATURE - Blog #3252:
Today's post is another blog on a mini-series that I found at the recent SGV Comic Book Festival that took place on Sunday, September 19th!
I have already blogged on one mini-series by this comics creator, Rafael Navarro, a TPB that compiled the first three issues of his first Sonambulo comic book series "Sonambulo In Sleep of the Just". If you have not yet read that blog post, please feel free to stop, click the link above, and come back to this current post...
Okay...back? Well I usually wouldn't have blogged about another publication by the same comics creator so soon, but this one really grabbed me! All three comic book issues, which have not been compiled into a TPB are still available of Rafael's web site. More on that at the end of this review blog.
Here is a little more of what I found about the Sonambulo character at Rafael's web site, which was not posted in the earlier blog:
"SONAMBULO is a series of illustrated stories by animation and graphic illustrator RAFAEL NAVARRO. Winner of the XERIC FOUNDATION AWARD, SONAMBULO has now achieved cult status among enthusiasts of PULP NOVELS, MASKED MEXICAN WRESTLERS, B-MOVIES, and even SUPER HERO comic readers all around.
Like the world-weary street guys of Spillane and Hammet, SONAMBULO steps head on into danger, living in a world where werewolves still lurk in the streets and THE DAY of the DEAD can literally become a holiday for those who seek revenge from the grave.
Every story holds a dream-like bizarre quality, letting the reader know that the world of SONAMBULO is not the world of an ordinary guy. Depending on the case, or the subjects from whom he chooses to extract a dream in order to reveal some well-hidden clue, or as the case may be, their deepest, darkest secrets, SONAMBULO knows that at the dead of night, his day is just beginning…"
Even though I had not read this mini-series or the earlier one that I review blogged already, I have found that this creator's stories and art are very appealing to me. The stories move at a good pace and the black and white illustrations set the tone for the issues.
Here is a little more on the creator, from the comicbookdb.com web site bio:
"Born in 1967 in Sonora, Mexico, and raised in California since 1969, Rafael called the city of Bell Gardens his home, a distinction he shares with the rock 'n roll legend, Eddie Cochran. At an early age he discovered his love for comics, as it encouraged him to read more, and began the fueling of his burgeoning imagination.
His earliest reading assignments began with newspaper strips ranging from Sagendorf’s "Popeye", "The Phantom", as well as spanish reprints of "Phantomas" and "Steve Canyon" and "Blondie". Ultimately Rafael's tastes matured with the likes of "Captain America", "The Fantastic Four" and from Mexico, "Kaliman". During this time Rafael began to take note of comic greats, Frank Robbins and Jack Kirby. In addition, local illustrators like NC Wyeth (at the neighborhood library) and Jesus Helguera (from the meat market) became contemporary influences.
But Rafael's problems really began when he got the notion to draw.
After graduating Bell Gardens High School, Rafael went on to Woodbury University to study Graphic Design, after which he attended Cerritos College to strengthen his portfolio for The Art Center of Design, and to study under Manuel De Leon, the noted anatomist.
Breaking into mainstream comics in 1990, and went on to video game animation and design in 1994. Since 1996, Rafael has self-published the Xeric Award winning comic SONAMBULO. He is currently working as a storyboard artist in the field of television animation."
Here is what the mini-series, (#1 is pictured above at top left of this blog post, #2 is to the left), is about:
"Come follow Lucha Libre's very own private detective, Sonambulo, as he returns to his beloved Mexico to help an old friend unravel the mystery of the infamous Brothers Godoy, the cursed souls of vengence! What is their hidden secret? Can Sonambulo solve the riddle of their eternal damnation, or will he face it with them forever?! A tale of passion, greed, and the supernatural, as only creator Rafael Navarro can deliver! b&w, 32pg (1 of 3) $3.00 Cover price $3.00."
I found that the storyline, the narrative, the text, and the dialogue are very well written. And actually can be said to be written for a 'mainstream' readership, not just for a 'indy' loving readership.
The artwork keeps pace with the storyline, and I don't feel that the three issue story arc was lengthened / drawn out at any point, as I have found other three issue mini-series to be at times.
Issue #3 wraps up the storyline, and sets the stage with a new developement...Sonambulo is believed to have died...Which could have been a 'spoiler alert' except that this mini-series was produced in 2004, and there have been other subsequent stories since then.
Which again makes me wonder...How did I miss out on this series when it first started?
Well, I'm highly suggesting that YOU don't miss out any longer on this great series of stories by Rafael Navarro!
My comic book grade for this 'Mexican Stand-Off' mini-series in total is a NEAR MINT, (NM) 9.4 on a 10.0 grading scale. That is the highest I grade any comic book / graphic novel / TPB.
Okay...I promised to let you know where YOU can buy this mini-series I just reviewed above!
Here is the link to the Sonambulo mini-series and others in the series either in comic book floppy format or in TPB and other publications / materials that Rafael has published on this character. Plus other tie-in materials, including t-shirts!
Plus, YOU can also meet Rafael Navarro at the Long Beach Comic Con in October, if you are planning to take that comic con in during the Halloween Weekend in October of 2010!
Thanks again, Rafael, for sharing your time with me at the recent San Gabriel Valley Comic Book Festival!
PLUS: My thanks again to all of YOU reading this blog and our archived blog posts, now over 3,250 total posts in number! I do appreciate your continued reading and support of this Blog!
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~ Michael D Hamersky @ ComicBookCollectorsBlog.com
Note: Our online comic book shop carries many different genres of comics, magazines, graphic novels, and comic con promotional items at the link seen below.