RON GOULART – The Wiseman Originals. Rudy Navarro #1. Walker, hardcover, 1989.

   Rudy Navarro is a PI, I guess you’d say, working for an agency called the Ajax Novelty Company. (No kidding.) In this case he once again needs the help of Jack Briggs, a former advertising art director, ten times over, and an expert on the works of Wiseman, a German artist of the 20s and 30s who died in Dachau.

   But some of his drawings, which were confiscated by the Nazis and had been missing since the end of WW II, have suddenly turned up at a Florida comic book convention, and Navarro’s client is not the only one who wants the rest of them. Not much mystery, but lots of humor, always a definite part of Goulart’s repertoire. The resulting story reminded me of a vulgar Craig Rice and had me laughing all the way.

   BTW: It was someone else who said it, but can you think of a commercial operation, other than a comic book shop, i which the proprietor dresses worse than the average customer? Ron Goulart, who goes to some of the same comic book conventions that I do, doesn’t miss on this one, either. This takes into consideration, and quoting the lady watching the store on page 58, “You ought to see the assholes who come in to buy this crap.”

–Reprinted from Mystery*File #15, September 1989, considerably revised and expanded upon.


Bibliographic Update:  This appears to have been Rudy Navarro’s only recorded case.