Nita Hawes’ Nightmare Blog – Volume 1 – The Fire Next Time (2022)
Writer – Rodney Barnes
Artists – Patric Reynolds, well-BEE, and Szymon Kudranski
I took the day off from work on Halloween like I normally do to take a break and start my Christmas shopping. I stopped at Phantom of the Attic in Oakland to take part in their Halloween/Day of the Dead sale. One of the trade paperbacks I purchased was Nita Hawes’s Nightmare Blog. I dove into this trade as soon as I got home from my travels.
A spinoff of Killadelphia, Nita Hawes teaches parapsychology at Morgan State University. A worker at a nursing home facility contacts the blog when he believes an elderly man, in a catatonic state, shows signs of possession. Nita Hawes works with the local police to solve this mystery after its discovered the elderly man is none other than Howling Henry, a blues musician who was larger than life before falling into obscurity. Nita and Detective Harden must race against time to save Henry before its too late.
The third page of the first issue features Nita coming face to face with a Cthulhu-like demon in a dark alley and that was all I really needed to see to know what to expect and what was in store for the rest of the series. Mr. Barnes struck gold with the series Killadelphia and does a phenomenal job expanding the world he established with Nita exploring the history of Baltimore, Maryland and how the conflict between Heaven and Hell has been brought to her hometown and the part she will ultimately play between these warring sides.
When I sat down to write this review, I was shocked to learn that three different artists brought these six issues to life. Their work is seamless and you can hardly tell any difference in the art style contained throughout. The monsters and creatures of Hell and Hell Itself are both scary and beautifully rendered. The facial expressions of the human characters are worth paying attention to as well. The creepy smile on Howling Henry’s face on the final page of Issue One will stick with you and continue to send shivers down your spine long after you finish the trade paperback.
Halloween may be in the rear-view mirror as we look toward Thanksgiving and Christmas but Nita Hawes’ Nightmare Blog is a must read for those that celebrate all things horror year-round. I’ll be giving this trade paperback to my friend as a Christmas gift this year and I hope she enjoys it as much as I did.
Nita Hawes’ Nightmare Blog Volume 1 can be borrowed instantly via Hoopla, but if you can borrow this from your local library, I think the physical copy does the art justice and will be more impactful than on your tablet or reading device. This first volume is only $9.99 and it was money well spent -it might be worth it to pick up a copy at your local comic book store.