Some of you may be familiar with The Pound series that came out in 2011, but I was not one of those people. After reading The Pound: Ghouls Night Out #1, though, I wish I was! Ghouls Night Out is the follow-up to The Pound after the initial success of the series when it came out over a year ago.
If you are like me and unfamiliar with the original series, there is a short inscription in the first couple of pages that pretty much explains the back story: Due to budget cuts, two animal control specialists, Scottie Allison and Howie Lynch, are left without jobs, so they open up their own animal control company for capturing stray animals and such. Though, after an incident with a werewolf roaming the halls of a high school, the two become specialists in a whole new realm of “animal” capture.
The first success of this story just comes from the individual personalities found in each character. They may seem like stock characters at first with the duo of Scottie, the older, more experienced and serious of the two, and Howie, the younger, naïve, jokester, but their quick wit makes the conversation flow between the two, and they prevent moments where the reader is being fed information about the situation from being boring. Although, most of the other characters almost have a shady vibe, there is a lot of mystery, so the characters come off as ominous. The artwork is great. It flows nicely into each panel. What I thought was especially successful was how certain images were included in scenes where it wasn’t until I took a second look that I realized they hinted at more important moments later on. I thought that really connected the reader with the unsuspecting subjects. It made you feel very, “D’oh! How did I not see that coming?!” and kicking yourself for it.
However, the artwork fails when it came to timing. The story starts off at night, but then it cuts to day, then it’s night again. All these times of day changes also occur with different characters, and there is nothing that indicates “earlier that day” or anything, so you are just left to assume how the story is playing out time wise. Then, since it ends on a cliff hanger you won’t know that answer until the next issue. However, that silly confusion is certainly forgivable, and you are going to be awaiting the next issue for other reasons. There are a few different cliff hangers, which is impressive for just a first issue, and it will leave you wanting more. My only other complaint was due to my lack of knowledge of the first series. It just made some things going on a little bit harder to figure out. But you know what? The remedy for that is to dig up the original series, which I am more than enticed to do now.
Let me just say, I was sold on the comic from the title. Growing up being convinced mythical creatures existed, this was an instant read just because “Ghoul” appeared in the title. Anyone who has a lust for mythical creatures such as werewolves, vampires, sea creatures, etc – this is going to fill that void for the supernatural. Now there’s no reason to break down and buy tickets to the next Twilight movie just to get your fill on crazy, creepy creatures.