Minky Woodcock: The Girl who Handcuffed Houdini #1

by Doug Warren on November 15, 2017

Writer, Artist: Cynthia von Buhler
Letterer: Simon Bowland
Publisher: Titan Comics

I usually don’t start a review talking about the artwork, in fact, I can’t think of a time I’ve ever done it, but when the cover is emblazoned with a quote from Neil Gaiman stating, “I was seduced by Cynthia von Buhler’s artwork. She is a wonder,” then you go into the book expecting to see some great things. I just couldn’t see it. Stylistically, yeah, it was really cool. But the characters just seemed so stiff, posed, and unnatural. It’s like she had a group of rejects from the Groundlings or Second City pose for stills that she drew off of. And the whole time the photographer was directing, “Stiffer. More unnatural. You’re not overacting enough!”

The story was good enough, but really, how hard is that to pull off when you snatch up an already interesting story (the title page claims it based off of the real events leading up to Houdini’s death) and rewrite it as your own? Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Harry Houdini, yeah, these are interesting folks; any story containing them should be interesting as well! That’s just a given. And I will say, the naked thing in the middle. That just seemed gratuitous. But maybe it’s one of the parts that is based on history. I mean, we’ve all seen it happen in real life and said, no one could write that in a book because it’s too unbelievable. Maybe that’s what happened here. Maybe it is something based on history. But. If it is, then there should’ve been more context. A better explanation. Something to make it make more sense.

Also, it seemed so short! I understand serial comics—we get pieces of the story in each issue, but this one just seemed so short. I felt like I was just about to get into the story and it stopped. Of course, leaving off where it did, it’s ensuring I pick up the next issue, but if I continue to feel short changed like I did with this issue, I can see it getting frustrating fast!

Our Score:


A Look Inside