Minky Woodcock: The Girl Who Handcuffed Houdini #1- A Review of Historical Proportions
Art and Story by Cynthia Von Buhler
Covers by David Mack and Robert McGinnis
Published by Titan Comics
Minky Woodcock is a young secretary who longs to become a private detective like her famous father. Instead, she spends her days at the agency as his secretary. However, her chance to finally snag a case comes when her father is on holiday and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle arrives in need of an investigator. Doyle wants to expose his former friend, the great magician Harry Houdini, as a closet spiritualist whose trying to put his competition out of business.
Knowing very little of the spiritualist movement, Minky is invited by Doyle to attend a seance. However, instead of contacting the dead, Minky discovers quite a bit of tomfoolery with the whole thing and exposes the medium as a fraud. No longer wanting to deal with Doyle and his fictitious cronies, Minky fears that her chances of becoming a detective are over. That is until a chance meeting at a local speakeasy puts her face-to-face with the mysterious Houdini!
The Girl Who Handcuffed Houdini is crime fiction publisher Hard Case Crime’s first foray into comic books. Teaming with the folks at Titan, this miniseries is written and illustrated by Cyntihia Von Buhler (An Evening with Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer.) This first issue was quite interesting. I was a big fan of the short-lived Victorian mystery series Houdini and Doyle and was quite upset to learn it was cancelled. This story almost acts, unofficially of course, as a sort of closer to that TV show as the former friends and partners are now at odds with each other due to some sort of falling out.
Cynthia Von Buhler’s art work is quite remarkable. It almost looks like it was drawn on stained glass. Yes- her style and technique does give the art a flat 2-D feel. But you really can’t say that anyone out on the market today is putting out as visually stunning and exceptionally colored comics as Von Buhler is doing with this book either.
Let’s talk a bit about the covers. Von Buhler cover as well as David Mack’s are good. But the variant cover by Hard Case Crime artist Robert McGinnis is exotic and deadly. My mother used to read all sorts of mystery paperbacks when I was a kid. Those sordid painted covers were tawdry and alluring- and yes a little dirty. That’s how the overall story is. There’s quite a bit of nudity, hanky panky, and beautiful things that if you are not careful will reveal that it’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing and attack when your guard is done. The publisher sure knew what it was doing putting a Mature rating on this one. But I cannot wait for the next issue as this historical mystery has me hooked in just one oh too short issue!
Issue #1 debuts in stores on November 15, 2017. It retails for $3.99.
Have you had a chance to read the first issue of Minky Woodcock: The Girl Who Handcuffed Houdini? Let us know you thought on the book here…