Join The Night Owl Society, No Spandex Required

I haven’t written about comic books in a hot minute. This is primarily due to a lack of inspiration rather than a lack of consumption. Although, my pile of unread trades has recently gotten out of control. When I was invited to attend a round table with Night Owl Society creator James Venhaus I was expecting to leave, write up a short blurb and move on. That couldn’t be farther from what happened.

Night Owl Society

When I heard Night Owl Society described as “The Breakfast Club meets The Sopranos”, I was pretty much sold. After reading the book about a band of misfit private school students turned vigilantes I was ready to tell everyone I know to get a copy. There are so many fascinating pieces sewn together to create this book, but the true genius of Night Owl Society lies is James Venhaus’ background as a playwright. During our discussion, Venhaus talked about his time in the theater and his experience as a teacher; both had an impact on the creation of Night Owl Society.

A few things Venhaus mentioned stuck out. One of these was his references to pacing, another was the exploration of stereotypes and the impact they have on people. Most comic books have a sort of standard pacing that is focused around the main action of the book, however, Venhaus’ use of dramatic pacing and revelation definitely stands out.  It makes you realize that the marriage of theater and comic book is such a natural fit. I don’t know why this came as a surprise to me considering the medium’s history of superheroes in spandex. But, for the first time I was like, “oh hey, this makes sense”. Big props to Night Owl Society for accomplishing this without a single mention or depiction of spandex.

Night Owl Society Comic

In regards to stereotypes, Venhaus expertly addresses the subject with both subtle and overt sentiments. Each member of the Night Owl Society externally exists within their assigned stereotype. However, internally, they defy those molds. It is exciting to watch the team members each reveal their true selves and shed their pre-conceived notions about one another.

Speaking of depiction, Venhaus’ story is beautifully accompanied by artwork by Pius Bak. Bak’s artwork perfectly captures the reflective nature of Venhaus’ writing with heavy lines and juxtaposed vivid and muted colors. For two people who have never met in person, (Venhaus is located in Texas, Bak in Lithuania) this duo was sure on the same page. You can tell that, while Venhaus’ story and characters drove the project, this was a collaboration. A testament to the changing landscape of the comic book industry and to the role technology is playing in the connecting and collaboration of creative minds, Night Owl Society is truly a comic book for 2017.

Night Owl Society Comic Book

Night Owl Society is a three issue limited series. The first issue was released on April 26, 2017, issues two and three will be released in May 2017 and June 2017 respectively.

For More About The Night Owl Society





*Images courtesy of James Venhaus


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