Review Capsules featuring 215ink
Jul 30, 2011 by     Comments Off    Posted In: Reviews

I had not heard of this publisher before Igor the stashmycomics.com site admin gave me a heads up about them. From what I can tell 215ink is a fairly young publisher of creator owned titles. They currently have a relatively short list of offerings but each one is interesting in it’s own right. In an effort to get the word out about their titles, 215ink has made 6 #1s available for free as  downloadable PDFs at their website. Stashmycomics.com lept at the opportunity to review all 6 titles and we agree that 215ink is a publisher to keep an eye on.. The first three reviews will come from the most recent addition to our writing team, Tim Morse.

Vic Boone #1

I really enjoyed this issue.  It was a little jumbled but flowed pretty good.  In a futuristic world, we have Private Detective Vic Boone.  Smooth, slightly cocky, and charming, he lives in a world filed with robots and aliens.  He is hired by Nina Hunt who is being framed for murder by none other than her Husband multi-billionare and stellar buisnessman Charles Hunt.  With the help of a fly (that’s right, a poo eating, sugar water drinking, and rather smart mouthed fly), Vic must figure out if and why, Nina Hunt is being framed by her husband.

The story, in the first half, flowed really well.  It filled me in as the panels moved along, and I didn’t feel lost or confused.  A few parts even made me chuckle a bit. The artwork was well rounded and almost reminded me of Batman the Animated Series, at least in feel.  The second half kind of fell off the mark a bit but picked up toward the end.  If they keep it up and flesh out the story more, 215ink has a winner with Vic Boone. - Tim Morse

Breakneck #1

Here is a good concept.  War is declared on all Super Villians in the world, and for nearly a month straight, heroes and villains fight.  All the villains are wiped out (or so they think) and the world feels safe.  A C-list villain however, is the only one left alive.  This is the concept of Breakneck.

It’s a good idea, but I felt that there was just not enough back story.  Yeah, we come in right at the end of the war, but I thought that would have been cool to be fleshed out a bit more.  There was no real dimension to the characters. I can understand that since it’s not really about the heroes.  We do get a fair amount of story on our villain, Ethan Stone.  That’s good and all, but I would really like to see the character fleshed out a bit more in future issues.  The art was very jagged and not really to my taste, but I hope they can also tighten it up as the series progresses. - Tim Morse

GCD: Demo #1

I was really holding out for this one, but I didn’t like it as much as I thought I would.  GCD is about secret agents who are really musicians that use props from the stage to indulge in espionage and adventure.  Microphones hidden up sleeves, overdrive pedals used to immobilize enemies, and the power of the voice of rock itself to clear the path for justice!  And that’s just the first half of the issue.

I thought this would be a good issue but I really felt let down. I felt like I was reading Lupin the Third the whole time.  The artwork really reminded me of that and gave it a really cartoony feel to it.  If that was the intention though, it went right by me.  It was a really good idea and I will admit that if you suspend disbelief, it could be a real fun read but it just didn’t suit me all that well.  The story was well constructed but everything that happened seemed way too easy for the hero. If they flesh it out more I’d check out more issues. -  Tim Morse

Footprints #1

I read this one first because Igor loved it so much. The elevator pitch for this book is a noir murder mystery featuring megafauna cryptids. The main character is the detective bigfoot replete with trenchcoat, fedora and cigarette. His ragtag crew of adventurers includes the Jersey Devil cast as a fast-talking low life. Nessy seems to be a shape-shifting prostitute who is involved in a relationship the Don the Megalodon. And finally Choop the Chupacabra, a fierce creature of little words.

The story kicks off with Jersey Devil (who does indeed speak with an amusing Jersey accent) and Bigfoot discovering Yeti has been murdered, possibly by Mothman. Yeti being Bigfoot’s brother makes this case personal so the crew is called in to investigate. I’d call this a good first issue. It establishes the tone and characters very well and clearly establishes the plot. It evens adds little touches of world building by injecting subtle exposition in the dialog. The artwork is done in a sketchy and inky manner which lends itself well to the noir feel of the book. Overall I can’t say I was as sold on this as Igor was but I’m curious about it enough to want to keep abreast of what folks will say of subsequent issues. - Jason Newcomb

Massive Awesome #1

This book is hilarious! Massive Awesome is about a black ops ninja and his best friend who thinks he is a zombie. Oh and the ninja is a piece of bacon and his buddy is a pickle. I’m serious. The plot involves Bacon breaking Pickle out of prison and then being fired from his covert government job. He’s then attacked by a Scottish villain who manages to escape. But Bacon and Pickle board a plane to Scotland to find him.

The premise of this book makes no sense whatsoever and it doesn’t care. It manages to be Massively Awesome anyway. The dialog is loaded with dynamic action sequences filled with ridiculous jokes, pop culture references, non-sequiturs and cheesy puns. The artwork is difficult to describe but I might say it’s R. Crumb meets Sam Keith. I can see this being a series on Adult Swim. If you love over-the-top fun and laughs try this book. Move over Axe-Cop, here comes Massive Awesome! - Jason Newcomb

Buck #1

This was my favorite of the three I read. Buck is a very streamlined concept. A small town is terrorized by a horrible monster. What kind of monster? Hint: It’s in the title and on the cover. That’s it. That’s all you need to know.

What makes this book special is the little story details. The characterization is astute and believable. Relationships are developed naturally. Everything feels right where it should be and the pace strikes a perfect balance between rushed and decompressed. The small town setting isn’t exaggerated. Instead, it’s right on the mark. With a different artist I’d call this almost David Lynchian in the sense that it utilizes the same motif of a small town juxtaposed with something terrible. About the art: I’d describe it as cartoon cubism. It’s a style which unexpectedly works very well and owes a lot to solid storytelling skills. This is the one I’m sure I’ll ask my shop to order. If you like Cloverfield and other monster stories of that kind, try this. - Jason Newcomb

Head over to 215ink.com and get your free downloads while you can! Then come back here and let us know what you thought of the books.

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