Cyrus Perkins and the Haunted Taxi Cab: created by Dave Dwonch and Anna Lencioni, published by Action Lab Entertainment. This four issue crime-noir series follows a cabbie named Cyrus Perkins. Cyrus is thrown into a bewildering situation when a young boy named Michael hops into his cab with a gunshot wound. Unfortunately for Michael, he doesn’t make it. Unknown to Cryus, Michael’s spirit is trapped in his cab. Unable to rid himself of this haunt, Cyrus accepts the dangerous and awkward challenge of solving Michael’s murder, with hopes of putting Michael’s spirit to rest.
Before this little indy gem popped into my inbox for review I had no idea it had even existed. I quickly typed the name, “Cyrus Perkins,” into my search engine and was pleased by what I discovered – Dwonch had a Kickstarter campaign for the comic that began in April 2014. I browsed the page and was happy to see the project had attracted numerous supporters. By the end of April, Cyrus Perkins and the Haunted Taxi Cab had over 200 backers and raised over $16,000.00! Dwonch‘s story behind how the concept was born is an intriguing one:
I thought “Wow, I gotta give this one a read..”
Well, I read it and I have to give kudos to Dwonch and Lencioni. For only being a four issue series, Cyrus Perkins easily got the point across. Dwonch was able to capture Cyrus’ life and inner struggles with limited amount of time. It’s a very straight-to-the-point story and easy to follow. No hand-holding or guiding takes place here; Dwonch takes Cyrus and puts him right into the thick of it. Each issue explores and investigates further into the death of Michael, with little to no distraction.
As the pages turn, we as the reader discover Cyrus may be pretty good at this detective business. I enjoy seeing a regular guy thrown into an odd situation. Cyrus is a relatable character and that helps the story immensely. I could picture myself bumping into him on a busy New York City sidewalk and striking up casual conversation. Dwonch highlighted the struggles of Cyrus in a subtle way through clever and easy to follow dialogue. Why Cyrus is relatable is because he is presented to us as a genuine nice guy just trying to make ends meet, and aren’t we all? Throw in a supernatural twist that we all daydream about and you have a pretty cool story on your hands.
Couple great story-telling with awesome art and you have a hit. Lencioni‘s art is best described as cartoonish and cute. Don’t be fooled by their big eyes and childish demeanor, the characters know how to deal with adult situations. Along with looking the part, they match perfectly with the dialogue. To be honest the story could be easily read without any words. Of course, if that was the case we would be missing out on a plot that seems to be developing into something larger.
Cyrus Perkins will return in Cyrus Perkins and The Death Brigade. Have you read this indy comic? If so, what did you think? What could Cyrus be getting into? If not, you can check out this title along with many others on Action Lab Entertainment’s webpage. Sound off on Twitter!