REVIEW: ‘Inkblot,’ Issue #1

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Inkblot #1
Inkblot #1 is published by Image Comics, written by Emma Kubert and Rusty Gladd, with art by Emma Kubert, inks by Rusty Gladd, colors by Emma Kubert and letters by Emma Kubert and Rusty Gladd. Welcome to the Living Castle. The seat of power of King Xenthas and home of his sister the Seeker. The Seeker is one who studies, explores, and discovers new magic. It is also her duty to chronicle the achievements and history of her brother the King’s great realm. After having fulfilled her task for several centuries now, she’s beginning to get quite bored.

We also serve who sit. That is the old saying to prop up the spirits of those who help a cause through less than exciting ways. To remind the workers that even mundane tasks can be critical. But after a few centuries of doing the mundane, I think you’d have to come up with a better slogan to reach the frustrated worker. Take the Seeker for example.

Inkblot #1’s primary protagonist has been studying and recording information for centuries. As her oldest brother rules a kingdom, and the rest of her siblings have gone forth to expand it, she has remained to do the more mundane of jobs. To make matters worse, she gets no credit for the histories she chronicles and the countless books she has written.

This multi-century chore has worn down the Seeker. To the point where she’s literally falling asleep on the job. But when a harmless mid-shift nap causing a magical mishap the Seeker’s life suddenly isn’t so mundane anymore. As a bit of spilled ink brings forth a mischievous black cat the Seeker soon finds herself face to face with some of the fantasy adventures she has so long written about but never got to experience.

After spending the first chunk of Inkblot #1 regaling readers with the history of its world, the story delivers a light-hearted and quirky little tale of misadventure. While little detail is given of our protagonist, she is instantly relatable. As many readers can relate to the feeling of boredom and under-appreciation shown in the Seeker, the character can easily serve as a reader’s avatar in this fantasy world.

Inkblot #1

The Seeker’s initial adventure with this curiously made cat is a fun momentary distraction. It is simple in its approach and delivers an uncomplicated fantasy tale. While it feels like there is a lot of directions the story could go next, nothing in this tale ever really hooked me. It was fun. It was quaint. But I can’t say that the story left me feeling compelled to want more.

The art does a good job of capturing the many fantasy elements present in its story. From the various realms we are given glimpses of in it’s opening to the great library itself, there is definitely a feeling of magic in the illustrations.

The colorwork in Inkblot #1 does a good job of creating a nice feeling of variety to the art. The shifting color palettes give each of the stories locales it’s own unique feel. Also to be noted is some lovely lighting effects in certain panels. The warm yellow glow of candles bath subjects in some truly warming lights. The glow on the character’s skin is both noticeable and striking.

The lettering in Inkblot #1 is a bit of a mixed bag for me. While the bulk of the story is presented in the industry standard format, the introductory history lesson is presented in cursive. While I was able to read this without too much trouble, it did slow me down. Certain words and letters were not always as clear as they could be, causing me to have to reread to make sure I got it right. I appreciate the desire to give the history a classical feel, but I don’t think the added tone was worth the cost of clarity.

When all is said and done Inkblot #1 delivers a fun little misadventure. Its lead character is relatable, but neither her nor the story itself, gave me much, in particular, to pull me back for more.

Inkblot #1 is available on August 19th wherever comics are sold.

Inkblot #1
3.5

TL;DR

When all is said and done Inkblot #1 delivers a fun little misadventure. Its lead character is relatable, but neither her nor the story itself, gave me much, in particular, to pull me back for more.