I picked up this print at the Wizard World Chicago comic convention this past weekend. Earlier in the weekend I had passed a booth showcasing ‘Sonambulo’, a Mexican wrestling style masked detective. I liked the look of the book – bright colors, fun idea, neatly stylized art - and I made a note to stop by. On Sunday, hours before closing, I remembered to swing by. There a friend and I spoke briefly with Rafael Navarro, the creator of Sonambulo. He was a large, pretty imposing guy. Unlike many of the creators at the convention, he was dressed all in black – no tee shirt and jeans – and with wild black hair and an impressive moustache, he looked like he could be a character in one of the hardboiled comics he writes and draws – perhaps the go-to guy who runs the local bar; the guy who can get you what you need, whether it’s information of heavy weapons. Or maybe the crime lord who speaks with quiet charm… until something triggers him and he responds with a burst of cold precise rage.

In my time with him, however, Rafael was soft spoken with no hint of violence (and comic geeks can be infuriating, trust me). He seemed genuinely pleased to speak with two comic fans at the end of a tiring three-day weekend, trading stories about traveling from one convention to the next and enthusing about the comic biz and comics in general. He seemed thrilled to hear that we liked what we saw at his booth and he acted like it was privilege to be allowed to do a quick sketch for me. I picked up a copy of his first trade and when I asked him to sign a print to the Werewolf Café, he grinned wide and decided to do it in Spanish and with scary lettering, to give it an EC comics feel. A classy guy, just like the character in his books.

As for the book itself, I recommend it highly – at least for people like me, who like a mix of genres, a little humor, and a straight-ahead protagonist who walks the mean streets but has a code of honor that may bend, but never breaks. Sonambulo (both the book and the character) has a supernatural edge and a respect for the past (with nods to pulp fiction, film noir, classic Hollywood and, of course, luchadores). I’ll be buying more (especially as there were no werewolves in the book I picked up…) and I think you should too.

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