Griff Gristle: Here Be Monsters Review. 

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Published by: Madius Comics

 

Written By: Rob Jones @robjoneswrites & Michael Sambrook @Rapiaghi

       Art By: Rory Donald @imnotdaredevil4

Logo & design: Brad Holman @bugjammed

 

Kickstarter  Available here : https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1698917327/griff-gristle-here-be-monsters

 

‘Something terrible is afoot in the sleepy fishing town of Charlsberg. Disappearances, strange lights and the town’s slow death all point to otherworldy goings on…Enter fisherman, mystic and all round spectral asskicker, Griff Gristle. Aided by Justine, the sister of one of the missing, Griff must track down the source of the disappearances and finds a lot more than he could ever have bargained for.

Coupled with the first story of Here Be Monsters in issue one is the short “Love Story” which sees Griff face up to a ghost from his past…’

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I need to get this off my chest. I was done with Kickstarter. Vowed upon the health of my future firstborn that I would never again vouch my hard earned cash on a comic Kickstarter. I’ve been let down by a “professional” comic artist who I trusted. Who took my money on a project and hasn’t delivered stating that they are too busy doing proper paid comic work. Essentially they stole my cash.

So why then, not only did I back Griff Gristle: Here Be Monsters, but pledge more than I ever have on a Kickstarter despite having received a review copy? Because it’s absolutely fantastic.

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I started seeing promo images a while back for this on social media. The hashtag #crustyfisherpunk was being used and I thought to myself why would I want to read a comic about a smelly old fisherman but when this dropped into my mailbox it blew me out of the water ( pun intended )

Jones & Sambrook have excelled themselves with this story. If you look through my previous reviews I’m no stranger to their writing from Madius Comics other publications. Calling myself a fanboy of their work wouldn’t be an over exaggeration. This takes Jones & Sambrook’s previous writing, scrumples it up and scores a three-pointer on the miniature basketball net over the wastepaper bin.

The story is gripping and filled with drama. It’s a tense little affair that has been exquisitely thought out. I need a plot to have reasons. It doesn’t matter how bizarre the reasons are as long as they are there. A ghostly storm you say? Then you better damn well tell me why. They do and they do in spades.

The main character is a cross between Flint from Jaws & the Ghostbusters. Griff is even more kickass than that sounds. As writers Jones & Sambrook have a dirty little habit of creating a self contained fully believable universe that makes me want to spend more time in with their characters.

If anything the short story epilogue at the end is even more poignant and better written than the main story – crow barring in a Cure Song that I advise listening to at the same time as reading it, you’ll be singing it to yourself for the rest of the day. The single most important factor in any given comic script is here. I cannot wait to read more.

Rory Donald has excelled himself with the art. I first came across his work in a Madius Papercuts & Inkstains short in #2 and this doesn’t even seem to be by the same guy. The quality of work in this is breathtaking. Heavily influenced here By Mignola’s Hellboy & BRPD this comic is gorgeous. Chunky Inks, Heavy use of shadows & silhouettes really suit the dark tones of the story. Speaking of tones, the colours in this are part of what makes it excel so much for me. The muted palette screams right from the get go that there is some shit about to go down here and adds as much to the story as the script and the art work. Backgrounds are spot on and some of the splashes, especially the sunken church one are exquisite.

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Some really great panel work here , particularly in the 1st scene where we encounter the ghost storm. The cover has exactly what a cover should have. The ability to grab you by the eyeballs and make you want to pick it up off a table at a ‘con and see exactly what’s inside.

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Overall the design is as exceptional as I have come to expect from Madius. Special mention goes to Brad Holman for the eye catching logo design, something indie comics sometimes neglect & like a cover it’s something that immediately turns you onto or off a book. Same goes for the lettering. So many small press books are horrible to read because no effort at all is given to THE most important aspect of reading a comic. Being able to read the damn thing. Jones is a talented letterer and uses that talent to great effect here.

At this point it was my intention to try and tell you that you should go to kickstarter and back this immediately to help them reach their goal. I don’t need to. As I type less than 24 hours after the launch it’s completely funded. The art is finished, lettering done. Backing this has zero threat. Every single printed copy I’ve ever received from Madius has been of the highest standard. No reason not to give them your money and get a kick-ass, fun, beautiful comic in return.

So once again here’s the link

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1698917327/griff-gristle-here-be-monsters

Buy this book you are gonna love it.

#crustyfisherpunk indeed .

Griff Gristle: Here Be Monsters Review. 
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