Comic Review: Crossroad Blues: A Nick Travers Graphic Novel (Image Comics)

From Image comes an original graphic novel, Crossroad Blues. With Robert Johnson on the front cover, it’s gotta BE about the blues! From journalist Ace Atkins’ writings and with black […]

From Image comes an original graphic novel, Crossroad Blues. With Robert Johnson on the front cover, it’s gotta BE about the blues!

From journalist Ace Atkins’ writings and with black and white art by Marco Finnegan, this graphic novel tells quite a story. Our hero Nick Travers is sent looking for a missing New Orleans college professor, who has disappeared in Mississippi. It seems there are unreleased recordings of 20’s blues legend Robert Johnson, and everyone is interested in them! Just who is interested? Well, an eccentric albino named Cracker, for one. Oh, and a hitman who considers himself the next Elvis!

By turns wacky, and also sadly touching, this mystery story leads us madly off in all directions. You never know who to trust or believe!

The story is convoluted but entertaining. The locale of small-town Mississippi sets us up for an atmospheric tale, one that seems plausible enough: how DID ol’ Robert Johnson die, and what secrets followed him to the grave? And where is the professor? And why does it rain all the time??

I enjoyed this graphic novel, with one small exception: when Nick happens across an attractive blues-playing young female by the name of Virginia. It’s love and lust at first sight. Virginia is content to wait around for Nick, and jump in his car without coaxing. She’s an easygoing gal with no major plans of her own. A bit too facile for me, but hey, it advances the story, I guess.

Artwork is a bit ‘dark’, in the sense that this is a black and white book, with only a few dark grey tones for shading. Basically, lots of black shadow, white, and a lot of dark grey. This makes the artwork a bit dingy for me. Am I being too picky? Certainly, the draftsmanship is fine and this is a well-told mystery to be sure!

Image Crossroad Blues, $14.99 for 152 pages of content, Mature Readers

Alan Spinney

About Alan Spinney

After a career of graphic design, art direction and copywriting, I still have a passion for words and pictures. I love it when a comic book comes together; the story is tight, and the drawings lead me forward. Art with words... the toughest storytelling technique to get right. Was this comic book worth your money? Let's see!!