Indie Comics Spotlight: Sink #1, Grimm Fairy Tales Steampunk: Alice in Wonderland #1, and Delilah Blast #1

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By: Jonathan Pilley (@omnicomic)

Sink #1


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“Glasgow, Scotland…the greatest city in the world.”

A city at night is much different than that same city during the day. There are different crowds moving to and fro, different venues open, and the time of day. At night, there are a lot more individuals content with causing harm and using the cover of darkness to do so are such people in Sink #1 from Comix Tribe. The issue is written by John Lees, illustrated by Alex Cormack, and lettered by Colin Bell.

Allan is stuck in Glasgow after dark. What sorts of horrors await him on an extended commute? Will it be everything and the kitchen “sink?”

Lees pitches Allan as a the focal point for the story and its his naivety that makes the rest of the story so scary. Allan’s familiarity with “his” town is dramatically undercut by the fact that there are individuals in it he never really gave a second thought to and Lees runs the story through that refined point of view. Glasgow is presented as both a vibrant hotspot for youths and for those with more nefarious intentions, the latter of which makes the issue truly terrifying. Lees is great at making the urban legend portion of the book feel well thought-out by emphasizing the potential horrors in everyday life, but there’s a pretty jarring shift in the book’s tone and pacing about halfway through that was a little odd. For a brief moment, it feels as if Lees is changing Sink #1 to be something of a superhero comic before switching it back to being a book about the evils hiding in the shadows.

Cormack’s artwork in Sink #1 is particularly grimy and gritty. The approach is a perfect complement to Lees’ story, as it essentially identifies terrors by giving them faces and very, very angry mannerisms. The way he renders Glasgow lulls the reader into a false sense of security as the quiet that accompanies a town late at night is quickly subverted for evil to cause a ruckus. The appearance of Mr. Dig is a pretty big gut punch of sorts to the reader, in that he doesn’t really look like someone you’d expect to encounter on the streets. Essentially, Cormack excels at presenting the reader with visuals that somehow both make them feel comfortable and uneasy at the same time.

The premise of Sink #1 is pretty interesting as it taps into a sense that some people don’t know their towns nearly as well as they think they do. Allan is quick to brag about how Glasgow is his town, but there’s a lot to it that even he has become blind to. Lees’ script is well thought-out and progresses quite nicely, giving the reader plenty to be scared of. Cormack’s illustrations are equally as terrifying, relying on harsh linework to accentuate the negative parts of a city at night. Sink #1 is pretty ambitious in what it’s going for and is left somewhat vague in terms of what that goal actually is, but it works.

Sink #1 is available now.

Grimm Fairy Tales Steampunk: Alice in Wonderland #1


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“I was born with a great mind and I’m going to use it to make the world I want! A better world!”

Steampunk is a fun throwback to an imagined nostalgia. Even traditional characters can get swept up in that nostalgia and the most recent example is Alice in Grimm Fairy Tales Steampunk: Alice in Wonderland #1 from Zenescope Entertainment. The issue is written by Ryan Fassett, illustrated by Noah Salonga and Fritz Casas, colored by Robby Bevard and Erick Arciniega, and lettered by Taylor Esposito.

The Wonderland ongoing series may have ended but that isn’t the end of Alice. An alternate dimension is emerging in the Grimm Universe – and what better place to explore it could there be than by going through the looking glass? This new Alice in Wonderland tale expands on the story that began in the Grimm Fairy Tales Steampunk miniseries.

Fassett takes the character of Alice and throws in a steampunk flair, largely in her inventiveness and desire to be creative. It’s actually a pretty powerful tale in that it offers an empowered Alice seeking to rise above expectations, but aside from that, Fassett stays pretty close to the Alice in Wonderland script. There are all the highlights of the story that make the story feel like an Alice in Wonderland homage of sorts. In fact, Fassett more or less crashes through the mythos to set up the confrontation in the issue that pits Alice against – you guessed it – the Queen of Hearts. The issue is paced somewhat erratically as Fassett moves Alice through scenes necessary to build up the ending and making the issue more plot-driven.

The artwork by Salonga and Casas is a good match for the story. They offer up a look at Wonderland that’s a pretty interesting one, in that it adds a new flourish to familiar characters. Alice with a steampunk look is essentially Alice with a Victorian look, but there are other aspects of steampunk throughout the issue in the way of robots and weaponry. The panel layouts are pretty frenetic as Salonga and Casas cram a lot of panels onto the pages and stack them atop one another. The artistic duo also has a habit of rendering characters in backgrounds without any facial expression at all, which is a little unnerving at times. Bevard and Arciniega’s colors are bright and vibrant, boldly showing Wonderland through a steampunk lens.

Grimm Fairy Tales Steampunk: Alice in Wonderland #1 is another entry in the Zenescope universe that seeks to change the perception of the Alice in Wonderland mythos. Alice is a strong and capable inventor who must rely on her creativity to get out of a dangerous new world. Fassett’s script is pretty savvy in how it treats Alice, giving her full control over her own destiny. The artwork by Salonga and Casas is pretty solid and offers a slightly different look at familiar territory. Grimm Fairy Tales Steampunk: Alice in Wonderland #1 is an interesting one-shot that gives readers a new look at a familiar character and setting.

The artwork by Salonga and Casas is a good match for the story. They offer up a look at Wonderland that’
Grimm Fairy Tales Steampunk: Alice in Wonderland #1 is available now.

Delilah Blast #1


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“There’s no running from your destiny, Delilah.”

Space exploration is inevitable. What’s not inevitable is that we’ll find someone else out there, but the assumption is that there’s plenty of other beings out there. Delilah Blast #1 from Evoluzione Publishing offers a character and beings who definitely stretch the imagination as far as who’s out there. The issue is written by Marcel Dupree, illustrated by Joel Cotejar, colored by Ramon Borge, and lettered by Marco Della Verde.

Science runs the world and the Earth is governed by the E.S.A., the Earth’s Science Association. Everyone is allow to join the organization on their sixteenth birthday, but unfortunately for Delilah Blast, she oversleeps, missing the entrance exams and putting her dream in jeopardy. However, when another opportunity to achieve her dream presents itself, Delilah is more than willing and ready to take it, even if it means going to a dangerous alien planet to retrieve obscure technology that could change the world and Earth forever.

Dupree positions Delilah Blast as an interesting lead character – one who’s young, ambitious, and lacking in traits that otherwise make her more mature. The narrative feeds off of this characterization, in that Dupree sets her up for a pretty grand adventure based on her aforementioned ambition. Delilah is smart and somewhat fierce, refusing to let the rules bring her down when she’s got a full head of steam. Dupree uses that to his advantage and allows her motives to move the plot forward through some pretty entertaining dialogue that feels innocent and harmless. There are some pretty standard first-issue trappings that are present as well (such as Delilah being something of a character of destiny), but Dupree does a good job of giving the issue enough to stand on its own as a story.

Cotejar’s artwork is lively and vibrant, reflecting the ebullient personality of the main character. That personality is reflected in Cotejar’s rendering of Delilah, even though she’s blue and clearly from another world. There are some differences in facial expressions throughout that offer a bit more differentiation amongst the characters and Cotejar frames a lot of these people well. His panel layout is mostly a grid layout, but he does work in a few insets and overlays to mix up the action. Borge’s colors are bright and bold, emphasizing the otherworldliness of Delilah’s environs.

Delilah Blast #1 is a pretty lighthearted book that focuses more on the lead character than the impending perils she’ll be forced to contend with. Delilah is certainly going to be up to the task and will follow her mind to wherever it may take her confident in her capabilities. Dupree’s script is pretty straightforward and sets up the following issues well. Cotejar’s art is a great fit for the story and underscores the alien nature of the characters very well. Delilah Blast #1 is a great read that knows what it’s going for and offers a great lead to get there.

Delilah Blast #1 is available now.


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