Published by Madius Comics
Written by: Rob Jones @Robjoneswrites
Mike Sambrook @Rapiaghi
Art By: Angela Sprecher @Sprech4
Paul Moore: @Pmoore12
Rosie Packwood: @pocketm0use
Like buses, it appears that Madius Comics like to keep up us waiting out in the cold and then send two along at once. Papercuts and Inkstains is back, the comic anthology with a little bit of everything and once again they don’t disappoint. Three stories across different genres written by Mike Sambrook & Rob Jones with a different artist on each.
The first story “A Roll Of The Dice” is a heist story with a great concept of having it take place in the Wild West. I loved the art on this. Angela Sprecher’s style reminds me of great British comic books of my childhood like the Beano & Buster. It’s nice to read a comic with the visual style, of a comic sometimes. By that I don’t mean simple. Really strong inks make the panels pop, the backgrounds and hatching work in shadows are fantastic. Strong detailing on things like floorboards really make this beautiful to look at.
Story wise though, this for me was the weakest story of the three. It jumps around in time and I found it quite difficult to follow on the first couple of reads. It would have worked perfectly in chronological order, and I understand that for styling reasons it was written this way but for me I found it annoying. The panels are differentiated in shape, but maybe a different layout choice, may have made it easer to read. I want to stress that I did enjoy it. it just made me work too hard.
The second story “Vampire Wonderland” is a claustrophobic little Vampire chase tale. Paul Moore does a great job with the art on this. In particular his designs for the monsters are fantastic. Vampires are so over done it’s hard to come up with something original but he manages to make them creepy and believable. Really strong inking and shadowing on this as well as great sense of movement and urgency from Moore’s art.
Jones and Sambrook have created a full functioning living and breathing world in this little piece. I’d love to see more of the protagonist and the opportunity for more stories in this universe are endless. It’s a tight fast moving story, the sense of the chase is really strong and it kept me scrolling frantically from panel to panel to see if our hero would escape ( with Jones and Sambrook you can never be sure ) One little niggle, escaping via the base jump was maybe stretching my belief a little too far, but overall it didn’t hamper my enjoyment of the story.
The third story “Slaycation” with Sambrook flying solo on writing duties was my favourite of the three. Outstanding layouts and design from Rosie Packwood. Really strong use of grey tones and some great gore. As good as the grey tones are I would love to see this story given the treatments of a professional colorist as Packwood’s fantastic inks are crying out to be given the full colour treatment. The story jumps all over the place and just as you think you know where it’s going it takes another little twist. Kept me hooked right up until the reveal at the end. Really cleverly scripted with great dialogue.
Production values over all as I’ve come to expect from Madius are fantastic. Rob Jones’s lettering is indistinguishable from what you would get from any big comic publishing house. As good as you will ever see from what is still unbelievably an Indy comic. Papercuts and Inkstains and Madius books in general are better than 90 percent of the comics in my pull list.