Sonambulo (aka Salomon Lopez)

Created by Rafael Navarro

When the going gets weird, who ya gonna call?

How about a masked Mexican wrestler turned Twilight Zone gumshoe?

Combining the quirky-mondo tradition of pulp magazine private eyes, and the Mexican legend of Santos, plus a slew of cheapo midnight horror movies, comic book superheroes, and a healthy dab of Will Eisner’s The Spirit (not to mention a very generous helping of Charles Burn’s El Borbah), the masked Mexican wrestler-turned-detective known as SONAMBULO goes down mean streets Chandler could never have drank enough to ever imagine.

Once a simple working joe, spinning his wheels and going nowhere, Salomon Lopez left his hometown in Mexico, determined to find fortune and fame — and he actually found it!

He became Sonambulo, a wildly successful luchador on the Mexican wrestling circuit. But he contracted a strange disease which had him falling asleep for days at a time. Meanwhile, local gangsters, tired of his refusal to throw matches, decided to bump him off.

And so they had him whacked, and buried his body under the Olympic Auditorium’s wrestling ring. But a weird thing happened: Sonambulo wasn’t dead — he woke up thirty years later, with the ability to “see” people’s dreams. With his new-found powers, he decided to become a private eye, intent on battling criminals and the dark forces of the supernatural — which has earned him several other nicknames, including “Bulo,” “The Sleepless Crime-fighter of the Night,” and “The Sleep-Walker.”

Sonambulo specializes in weird crimes and his surreal, dream-like nocturnal turf lies somewhere between the Land of Nod and The Day of the Dead, populated by werewolves, ghosts, zombies and worse. He’s blessed (or is it cursed?) with the ability to yank clues and secrets from peoples’ dreams, and he never sleeps while he’s working a case.

Then again, after a thirty year nap, would you? And would you really want to doze off with all those creepies crawling around? Suffice it to say Sonambulo’s cases are a little on the peculiar side…

Sonambulo has appeared in several comic book series, all written and drawn by Rafael Navarro, and he’s become something of an international cult favourite, translated into Spanish, French and Croatian. From time to time, there’s even been talk of a live-action film, although so far that’s all it’s been: talk.

Navarro was born in Mexico, and raised in California. He calls the city of Bell Gardens his home, a distinction he proudly shares with rock ‘n roll legend, Eddie Cochran. At an early age he discovered his love for comics, including Popeye, The Phantom, Phantomas, Steve Canyon, Blondie, Captain America, The Fantastic Four and from Mexico, Kaliman. He studied graphic design at Woodbury University, and later attended Cerritos College to strengthen his portfolio for The Art Center of Design, and to study under Manuel De Leon, the noted anatomist. He broke into mainstream comics in 1990, and went on to video game animation and design in 1994. Since 1996, Rafael has self-published the Xeric Award winning comic Sonambulo, and is currently working as a storyboard artist in the field of television animation.

UNDER OATH

  • “There’s a spontaneity and freshness to the art that’s often missing from big-name publishers’ books. Navarro’s art and stories make these adventures great fun to read.”
    — Duane Spurlock

COMICS

  • SONAMBULO: SLEEP OF THE JUST | Buy this book
    (1996-97, Ninth Circle Comics)
    3 issues
    Written and drawn by Rafael Navarro

    • “Sleep of the Just, Part One” (#1, August 1996)
    • “Sleep of the Just, Part Two” (#2, July 1997)
    • “Sleep of the Just, Part Three” (#3, August 1997)
  • SONAMBULO’S STRANGE TALES
    (2000, Ninth Circle Studios)
    One-shot
    Written and drawn by Rafael Navarro
    “48 Manly pages!”

    • (#1, August 2000)
  • SONAMBULO: GHOST OF A CHANCE | Buy this book
    (2002, Ninth Circle Studios)
    One-shot
    Written and drawn by Rafael Navarro

    • (#1, August 2002)
  • SONAMBULO: MASKS OF SONAMBULO | Buy this book
    (2003, Ninth Circle Studios)
    One-shot
    Written and drawn by Rafael Navarro

    • (#1, August 2003)
  • SONAMBULO: MEXICAN STAND-OFF
    (2004-05; Ninth Circle Studios)

    • “Mexican Stand-Off (Part One)” (#1, September 2004)
    • “Mexican Stand-Off (Part Two” “(#2,  October 2004)
    • “Mexican Stand-Off (Part Three)” (#3, August 2005)

RELATED LINKS

  • Wrestling Dicks
    It’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get back up…
Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

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