EVEN AS I WRITE this review of the first issue in John Lees‘ new ComixTribe series, Sink, I’m learning that the book has already sold out at shops worldwide. So why bother? Because it’s that good. And, I’m pretty sure the shops will order more.
I’d also just like to add my voice to the growing list of reviewers praising Lees’ latest foray into the dark recesses our minds. There’s something special about his writing that I don’t see enough of in comics these days. It’s poignant. It sneaks-up on you in weird ways and lingers in your subconscious like an experience you’ve had for yourself. And when you apply such craftsmanship to the kinds of stories Lees (And Then Emily Was Gone) is fond of telling—tales of unthinkable crimes and unimaginable horrors—you end up with books that get attention.
THE TITLE Sink is short for Sinkhill, a fictional district in Glasgow, Scotland’s East End where the night is ruled by monsters—some who wear masks, some who don’t wear masks, and others who apparently carve-up their faces to look like masks—all of the human variety. Some of the monsters hunt innocents, while others hunt other monsters, and there’s a third group that turns innocents into monsters and they’re the scariest of all.
Into this nightmare stumbles a nice young man whose long night in Sinkhill sets up what promises to be an outstanding series of stories. Between episodes of carnage we get hints about characters and larger situations to come, and I for one cannot wait to turn those pages. Oddly enough, John Lees is one of the nicest guys I’ve come across in the comic world, an upbeat fellow who seems as generous of spirit as he is talented. But, man, can this guy weave a dark saga.
And in Alex Cormack (Oxymoron; The Red Ten), Lees has once again gotten himself the perfect collaborator (as he did with And Then Emily Was Gone artist Iain Laurie). I’d go so far as to say that Cormack contributes as much to this book’s effectiveness as Lees does. If there is such a thing as comic book school, this first issue’s climactic scene—a mind-boggling depiction of violence and madness set in the back of a van—should be part of the curriculum.
So, yeah, I’m pretty enthusiastic about this book. And if you like stories that cut deep and leave a scar, then you will be, too.
Published September, 2017
Writer: John Lees
Art & color: Alex Cormack
Lettering: Colin Bell
Color; 28 pages; Age Rating: 15+ Only