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For your consideration, 1First Comics presents a singularly entertaining and expressive work.
BOB HOWARD PLUMBER OF THE UNKNOWN: Caught in the Trap
by Rafael Nieves and Dan Dougherty
1First Comics is proud to present a graphic novel by Eisner Award nominated writer Rafael Nieves (Tales from The Heart: Bloodlines) and Shel Dorf Award winning artist Dan Dougherty (Beardo) — a uniquely emotional journey that treads the tightrope spanning humor and horror.
Every story in BOB HOWARD: Plumber of the Unknown starts with the ending of another story. If you’re expecting monsters and demons unleashed you’re going to get them, but… not exactly? If you’re looking for that moment that crystallizes a quest, it’s here… or is it? More pointedly, can a man who is running away— not at— even be considered a hero?
The visual narrative is a tour de force by Dougherty, who commands a finely observed level of representational detail that imparts a haunted feeling of place to even the most mundane locales. One feels a sense of creeping dread waiting just off-panel, and when that dread inevitably manifests, it explodes with fine chilling effect.
At the heart of the tale is Bob Howard himself, a hard-working blue-collar everyman rendered mute by a gut-wrenching trauma. The loss of his family sent Bob spinning in to an incomprehensible netherworld littered with unspeakable horrors. Yet the dangers posed by vampires, demons, and rats as big as Volkswagens are nothing to a man who has already lost everything that life holds dear. It is this richly nuanced grounding that Raf Nieves surveys with his trademark sensitivity and acerbic wit.
Brian Azzarello, observes in his introduction, “BOB HOWARD is the kind of quirky, compelling narrative that comic storytelling was created for, and that both creators excel at. You’ll revel in the fact that these tales are being told as comics and only could be told as comics; it’s palpable, and fun to experience. And while things get gruesome at times, that fun never disappears.”
Rafael Nieves and Dan Dougherty