This is a Ghoul's Night Out. Ghouls, ghouls, ghoul's night out. Howie and Scottie are back, and this series hasn't lost it's sense of humor or fun. The guys are still hunting werewolves and other creatures of the night with their animal control company, The Pound, in Cleveland, but this time, there's some new and weirder creatures to capture.
The opening two pages of this issue are nothing short of phenomenal. Flat-out, they're not only an amazing way to set up the whole mini-series, but they are two incredibly funny pages. I'm not giving anything away about the opening pages though. Just take my word for it when I say it's a fantastic opener.
Writer Stephan Nilson is great when it comes to comedy. There's a lot of classic sitcom ideas in this comic but written in a contemporary, comedic style. I guess I'm dating myself by saying I love seeing late 80s and early 90s sitcom elements in comic books. He does a great job at setting up future comedic elements like the classic "mother in-law visiting the house." It may not seem like much now, but there's a lot of opportunities for jokes in future issues. As you may have seen in the first volume of The Pound: Horror Business, Nilson kept the quicker jokes in the issue while setting up others for future issues.
I know I'm placing a lot of emphasis on jokes and comedy, but there's a lot of comics out there that suck at being funny. That's why I'm happy to see comedy done well. Scottie and Howie are a great comedic/heroic team. We get to see them play off each other and blow some stuff up in this issue as they go "fishing." They're strong lead characters. They're the average Joe and it's easy for the reader to relate to them, minus the whole super-natural element.
Very solid art by Ibrahim Moustafa. He has very strong and solid art, and his work during action sequences is great at showing movement. The colorist on this book, Romulo Farjado Jr, also did a fantastic job. I really enjoyed his transitions between colors, and I especially loved his color work on the water. It had a natural look to it that we don't see very often.
My biggest problem with this issue is that there is so much thrown at you in this issue. This really feels like a set-up for an eight issue series and not a four issue series. You feel like you're getting hit with a lot of stuff here: creature from the black lagoon, power struggle in the werewolf community from the last arc, vampires, and weird gargoyle looking creatures. It's a lot to digest for a first issue, especially when it's only four issues long.
I never read Proof, so I don't care about it's main character jumping over here. It's a distraction for me more than anything else.
While I enjoyed the art, there were a few of crotch and chest shots, meaning they were the focal point of the panel. It was a bit weird.
It's no secret that I loved the first volume of this series, and this issue has a lot of potential to reach that. I loved the opening pages of this issue and Nilson does a great job keeping the writing fresh and funny. I love all the set-up here, but I think there's a bit too much being thrown at the reader for a four issue mini-series. The art team here does a fantastic job, especially on the colors.
On the down side, I don't know anything about Proof, other than he looks cool, so having him in this issue was a distraction, and also, there were a few panels of just crotch shots, which was also distracting.
Overall, I really enjoyed this new mini-series, and you will too. It's nice to read a well done comic with a sense of humor. I highly recommend this issue.