Review by C.J. Bunce
One of the 21st century’s best comic book artists with a singular style brings her heroine back to the comics pages. Writer-artist Cynthia von Buhler is know for her sensationalism, both in story concepts, artwork, and marketing, merging real-world events and time travel tours to the past via her comic book work, as seen in her striking The Illuminati Ball. We first met her heroine Minky Woodcock in Minky Woodcock: The Girl Who Handcuffed Houdini (reviewed here), as she recounted the 20 days leading up to the famed magician’s death on October 31, 1926. Her next Minky adventure is now available in single monthly issues, Minky Woodcock: The Girl Who Electrified Tesla. If you like the idea of a girl Friday coming into her own, then Minky Woodcock is for you.
Again von Buhler blends the true and the fabricated into an intriguing story of adventure for her character as she maneuvers society’s celebrities of all kinds of venues. It’s also full of the sex, fraud, and spectacle of her first story. This is a story of scientist Nikola Tesla that goes beyond the Current War. This is Josephine Baker, the former WWII French spy, Tesla and his compassion for animals that helped drive him from electricity competitor Thomas Edison, and the varying interests who might pay someone like Minky to get to Nikola Tesla and learn his secrets.
Von Buhler writes and illustrates both her heroine Minky Woodcock as a mix of sultry femme fatale, the girl next door, and the damsel in distress. Her use of color and realism is almost photographic but it has its own surreal feel, like black and white imagery colored by time and pastels.
As with her past work, Von Buhler includes a link to references that back up the factual elements of her story. The real-life characters tied in to her story will surprise readers, like J.P. Morgan, Josephine Baker, and a few others.
Check out these sample pages from the first issue:
Come for the artwork, stay for the sensational, provocative story. Minky Woodcock: The Girl Who Electrified Tesla is recommended for fans of the various Hard Case Crime comic book series and pulp novels, and anyone who misses vintage comics and 1950s “crime does not pay” true crime stories.
For mature readers only, Minky Woodcock: The Girl Who Electrified Tesla, Issue #1 is available now at comic book shops, with Issue #2 due out in mid-May. You can also pre-order the complete trade edition of the story now here at Amazon.