The Night Owl Society #1 (James Venhause / Pius Bak)
“The Night owl Society” is a new comic book series created by playwright James Venhaus with artwork by Pius Bak.
After a close friend is killed by the mob, David Foxworth recruits a team of his high school classmates to take matters into their own hands. The Night Owls try to disrupt the mob’s operations without getting killed or grounded. It’s a fast paced adventure comic that reads like a cross between “The Breakfast Club” and “The Sopranos”
Good morning readers! Last night I got to read one of those independent comics that after the last page, you just want more. I was only sent the first issue…but man do I want to see where this story goes!
James Venhaus sets up the story much like any other first issue should (introducing characters, settings, and conflicts), and he pulls the readers in with ease. I had a sense of familiarity with the stereotypical characters (nerd, jock, gangster), but each is done with just enough uniqueness that want to know more about them. Familiar, yes. Cookie cutter, no.
Another piece I was impressed with was they way Venhaus wrote dialog. This is an area that can make or break a good comic or me. There are many great storytellers out there that can conceptually spin a tale that is riveting, but fall so short in writing dialog that I am pulled out of the story. Mr. Venhaus does not have this problem. As a high school teacher, I love it when a writer is aware of what real high school students are like, and not the cartoon versions seen in modern media. Maybe it’s his experience as a playwright, but Mr. Venhaus is a natural at dialog.
What about the art, you ask? Pius Bak’s art reminds me a bit of Oeming’s art on POWERS. It’s simplistic, but not from a lack of skill. It’s his artistic choice to do so, and as a result it gives the readers a gritty feeling. A sense that something is not right in this world, but that our main characters are out to change that.
I’m sorry I can’t go more into the story, but it’s really an introduction to characters and settings. What I can say is that something bad has happened, out characters want to fix it, and there are a cliffhanger that makes you want issue two.
Bottom Line: I really liked it….I’m holding off on the “Loved it!” until I can read some more issues and get more of the story. That being said, The Night Owl Society is what you look for in an independent comic. Great story, solid art, and it makes you want to read more.
If you’re looking to get yourself a copy, I suggest you utilize the links below.
Buy on ComiXology: ComiXology Link
Buy in print: Here!
ALSO! If you live in the Plano or Dallas areas you can find James Venhaus at these events.
Wednesday, July 23, 5-7pm
Collected Comics & Games
3100 Independence Pkwy #318
Dallas Comic Con Fan Appreciation Day. Aug. 9