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Hogtown Spirits #1: Wyatt Blake

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By Kevin Parnell, Barb Felix

“Go stand by a puddle with your mouth open and wait for a car to pass. That’s a Hogtown.”

Hogtown Spirits #1: Wyatt Blake is a one-shot noir story by writer Kevin Parnell and artist Barb Felix. It follows a night out with the grungy Wyatt Blake, a man who owes money to the wrong kind of people. Wyatt’s trying to make some money at a local Jazz club, but unfortunately his gig gets cancelled. So, he does what anyone would do, he sits down at the bar and orders a drink. Turns out his gig was cancelled because of a “special guest” – which turns out to be a woman from Blake’s past.

We’re essentially thrown into a story already in progress and given insights into Blake’s past as the story moves forward. He owes some people money, and with his gig for the night cancelled he’s looking pretty strapped for cash – enter in, the girl from his past.

The artwork in this issue is done in black and white, which serves to compliment the noir nature of the story. Barb Felix is the artist and she keeps the backgrounds fairly simple while bringing in some nice facial expressions in certain scenes. Most of the focus/detail comes into play during important scenes – like when Blake sees a trumpet he just has to play – even though it doesn’t belong to him! A surreal looking scene by Felix comes in when Blake takes Silver (the woman mentioned above) on a ride above the city on a lift. The panel is large and grey for the most part, but the background buildings stand out as black outlines and look as if swaying from side to side.

Come in, take a seat, have a drink and listen to some jazz. Kevin Parnell creates a story with a great noir feel to it and is accompanied by a great artist. Also, there’s a Manhattan recipe included, so you have something to sip while you read – and it certainly sounds more appealing than a Hogtown!

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