Igor Vorlic and Renfield
Created by Jesse Bausch

If the names "Igor" or "Renfield seem vaguely familiar, think back to those old Universal monster movies, and you'll be halfway there...

Yep, IGOR VORLIC, he of the hunched back, and RENFIELD, the ol' bug-muncher himself, were best known as the infamous second bananas to Dr. Frankenstein and Count Dracula, respectively.

But that was then and this is, well, 1958 -- , at least in this 2005 comic book mini-series aptly titled STRANGE DETECTIVE TALES -- and Igor and Renfield have decided to strike out on their own as Tinsel Town private eyes.

This ain't your grandpa's Hollywood, though. The premise is that, after the wild success of all those creature features like Wolfman, Dracula, Frankenstein et al, all those monsters flocked to Hollywood, hoping to make it big in the movies. But the boom promptly went bust (and more than a few of 'em got screwed over by Hollywood executives) and now there are scores of monsters, zombies and other B-movie creepazoids hanging around the movie community, wannabes that seemingly overnight turned into neverwuzzes. But the Vorlic-Renfield Detective Agency doesn't look upon these folks as losers -- nope, they look upon them as potential clients.

It's all done with a fair amount of wit, and more than a little obvious affection for the B-movie and detective genres it so gleefully lampoons. Writer Bausch touches all the bases, managing to make the buddy gumshoes far more affable than you'd ever expect and James Callahan's black-and-white artwork has a loose, goofy cartoonish quality to it that keeps things -- for the most part --light..And considering some of the potential grossness on hand here, it's a wise choice. I mean, who really wants to look at a dead-on clinical depiction of Igor poking through someone's intestines?

After "Dead Love," the first story arc concludes, creator Jesse Bausch plans to take Igor and Renfield on the road. "I conceived the book as a series of mostly self-contained stories, all of which are centered around monster movies in some way," he explains. "The second story will be set in Mexico and draws on the luchador movie craze (Santo and the like) in the late 1950s/arly 1960s... the third story... in London during the Hammer horror era. And the grand finale will be set in Tokyo. I've thought of doing more in Los Angeles, but right now I'm much more interested in sticking to the plan, mostly because I'm terrified of repeating myself."



Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

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