Thursday, September 22, 2022

Comics Review: "Nita Hawes' NIGHTMARE Blog #8" - That Shark Bites with Her Teeth


STORY: Rodney Barnes
ART: Szymon Kudranski
COLORS: Luis Nct with mar and Silvestre Galotto
LETTERS: Marshall Dillon
EDITOR: Greg Tumbarello
COVER: Szymon Kudranski
VARIANT COVER ARTISTS: Jason Shawn Alexander with Luis Nct
28pp, Colors, 3.99 U.S. (September 2022)

Rated “M/ Mature”

Nita Hawes' Nightmare Blog created by Rodney Barnes and Jason Shawn Alexander

“Murder By Another Name” Part II: “The Rule to the Exception”

Nita Hawes' Nightmare Blog is a comic book series created by Rodney Barnes and Jason Shawn Alexander.  Nita Hawes' Nightmare Blog is written by Barnes.  The current artist is Szymon Kudranski.  Colorist Luis Nct and letterer by Marshall Dillon complete the creative team.  The series focuses on a woman who is on a quest to root out evil by helping the people who contact her blog.

In Baltimore, Maryland, which some call “Bodymore, Murderland,” there is a woman named Dawnita “Nita” Hawes.  She is the owner of “Nita Hawes' Nightmare Blog” where citizens can contact Nita when they have a problem of a supernatural or paranormal nature.  Nita has just begun her quest to root the evil out of her city – with the help of her dead brother, Jason.

Nita Hawes' Nightmare Blog #8 (“The Rule to the Exception”) opens with a ghost saying that it wants to let go, but that's not true.  Once upon a time, a group of powerful white men sought immortality, and they paid for that journey with the body and blood of invisible humans.  Now, their descendants must pay, and Detective Harden, once a non-believer, believes enough to call on Nita.  Her brother, Jason, insists that sis sit this one out, but sis ain't backing down.

Plus, two men visit Nita.  One is deeply in love and says all the right things.  The other is petty and jealous and way too old to be acting that way.

THE LOWDOWN:  Nita Hawes' Nightmare Blog is a spin-off of Rodney Barnes and Jason Shawn Alexander's hit vampire comic book, Killadelphia.  We are still early in the new story arc, “Murder By Another Name.”

Although I may be wrong, I interpret Nita Hawes' Nightmare Blog as writer Rodney Barnes' most deeply personal work.  The supernatural killer in “Murder By Another Name” comes from Barnes' connections to the history of Black folks in America and how that story is tied in knots to the larger history of violence of the United States.  His stories, particularly here, directly connects that this violence on black people then is a violence on black people now.

On the Nita end of things, Barnes makes Nita feel real and really human because he isn't afraid to depict her pain and loss as coming from deep in her overall hurt; it is not merely character window dressing.  Nita is heroic and vulnerable, and her vulnerability and pain and loss make her determination to continue the mission that much more admirable.

I am in love with Szymon Kudranski's lovely art, especially how he subtly shifts the atmosphere and lighting for each change of scene.  It depends not only on the presence of the supernatural, but also the kind of supernatural present.  Luis Nct's coloring measures the power in those changes.

Nita Hawes' Nightmare Blog is like if “Kolchak: The Night Stalker” and Hellblazer had black baby girl.  [What a scandal that would have been at the DC Comics' offices.]  And what a beautiful comic book baby she is.

I READS YOU RECOMMENDS:  Fans of Killadelphia and of the original Hellblazer will want Nita Hawes' Nightmare Blog.


Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"

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