Writer: Dave Dwonch
Art: Anna Lencioni
Colors: Dave Dwonch
Letterer: Dave Dwonch
Publisher: ACTION LAB ENTERTAINMENT (February 2016)
Cyrus Perkins was just a normal cabbie, just doing his job and living his life. Then the night a young man who had been shot entered his cab, Cyrus’s life changed. Cyrus fines that his cab is haunted by the spirit of that young man who died, Michael, and in order to gain peace for both of them … Cyrus decides track down how Michael was shot in the first place. And that leads to a whole slew of revelations while Michael only remembers bits of his life …
Lencioni’s cartoony art might not seem like a good fit for this murder mystery, but it actually really fits. Lencioni’s pencils and inks really do a good job of setting up the background, capturing an emotion of a scene and even show good action. The expressions actually feel more genuine with her art style, which helps make the reader feel closer to our main protagonists. Dwonch’s colors seem flat at first, yet Dwonch really allow his colors to help match a mood of a scene or an emotion. The colors help bring out the best of Lencioni’s art as well as the script, making for a deeper experience.
It is Dwonch’s involvement of the book in various ways that really make it shine here. His colors and Lencioni’s art really capture his script. Dwonch really writes compelling and believable characters here that help move along this murder mystery well. There is some great characterization that is built around Cyrus, making him a very strong lead. He’s fallible yet honest to a fault. Cyrus is snarky, intelligent and has a strong moral compass. It makes him all the more compelling. Michael himself makes a great foil for Cyrus, allowing to show the best of Cyrus while Cyrus brings us the best of Michael; not only through the growth and development of Michael himself, but Michael’s friends and loved ones. What Dwonch does is built this wonderful murder mystery around dealing with the multiple stages of death itself. There’s anger. There’s denial. There’s grief. Dwonch goes through the actual stages of grieving a dead one while developing Cyrus and figuring out how Michael died and who killed him. It is brilliantly layered and Dwonch really makes it work. This is some of Dwonch’s best writing yet.
Not a thing.
Dwonch and Lencioni create a world of mystery, murder, supernatural and fun with Cyrus Perkins and the Haunted Taxi Cab. The art may be cartoony looking but it is refreshing effective and expressive. The colors and line work are solid, giving us a wonderfully full world. The action looks good. The writing is superb. The mystery is easy to follow, but keeps you guessing till the very end. You can’t see everything coming in this book and Dwonch knows it. He uses the layers of grieving to help advance the mystery, giving the story more depth while advancing the characters. Cyrus is endearing, strong and intelligent, making him one of the better protagonists in any medium. I really enjoyed this experience.