Written by Robin Jones
Artists Nick Gonzo, Kevin Pospisil, Mike Smith
Cover art Dan Butcher
Papercuts and Inkstains #1 is an interesting little addition the the Madius Comics collection. An anthology of short stories written by Robin Jones and drawn by a selection of artists, this is definitely an indie comic.
It makes no pretence at trying to look like it was produced by one of the big boys which is not a bad thing, the roughness sits very well with Jones’ writing style which is light and friendly – even when joking about darker things.
Those involved do not take themselves too seriously, quipping and joking throughout even in the Bios and thanks pages. This is Jones’ first foray into writing comics (usually he is known for his lettering).
In story one No illustrated by Gonzo, an employee invigilates battles repeatedly throughout the day. It is a little confusing on the eye. There is just too much going on in a rough style that looks like it has been left at the rough stages of page layout. The messy art style of Gonzo draws me to it – in previous comics it has worked far better (50 Signal was charming) and yet I still really like it. I often feel Gonzo’s style would be suited better to Children’s book illustrations (think Quentin Blake) although his eye for layouts is pretty good!
In story two, By ‘Eck on Earth illustrated by Pospisil, Jones tackles the zombie genre and his narrative is spot on. We instantly get a sense of the characters and the story flows well. The artwork is nice, Pospisil has a good eye for layout and inking.
Story three The Profits of Doom by Smith is quite hilarious. I really am enjoying Jones’ writing and it feels familiar, as though he grew up inspired by all the writers and shows that made me laugh throughout my life. A hapless group of shady robed figures attempt to summon demons…
The artwork is just perfect! Smith has a style here that feels like it belongs with Sir Terry Pratchett or the Monty Python crew. I can imagine so many famous classic comedians’ voices as they converse, John Cleese, Rik Mayall, Rowan Atkinson just pop in there without effort.
In conclusion, Jones writes comfortably in quite different narrative styles and I really enjoyed this. It seems so short, I think that was my only real disappointment here so it is just as well issue 2 is due out soon!
Copies can be found at: http://madiuscomics.bigcartel.com/product/papercuts-and-inkstains-01
You can catch the guys on Twitter:
Madius Comics @MadiusComics
Robin Jones @RobJonesWrites
Nick Gonzo @Nick_Gonzo
Mike Smith @DeadCertMike
Kevin Pospisil @ARiseToDarkness
Dan Butcher @VanguardComic