Brandon Borzelli’s Geek Goggle Reviews
Orc Stain #6
If you are into “strange” and are looking for something different in your comic book then this is your jump on point to a series that fulfills those requirements. Orc Stain is simply unlike anything I have ever read before. James Stokoe does everything except make the paper for this book and it is clearly a labor of love. This particular issue contains thirty pages of some of the most flamboyant art I have ever seen set up with a story that is ridiculous almost to the level of absurd. While I am not sold on the story within this issue, the book and its concept are rock solid and bring the reader experience to a place that most books can just never go. How can you go wrong for three bucks?
The issue begins with a good recap of the series and a rundown of the key characters. One-Eye is trying to escape the prison within Mountain City. Essentially, the Orc known as Beard, has helped round up any Orc with one eye because it is foretold that only a one eyed Orc can unlock the secrets of the Gangagronch. If you are with me so far you probably have a better understanding of this than I do.
One-Eye, with the help of another character – also with one eye – manages to get out of their holding cell and are on the run. As they create chaos in their escape they encounter a number of obstacles. Chief among them is another one-eyed Orc named Pointyface, the arch nemesis of One-Eye. The book is wall to wall action that includes oddities like tunnels coming alive and just regular old-fashioned Orcs getting sliced up. The book climaxes in a way that left me lost though.
The end of issue has One-Eye coming face to face with Beard and his army. The last few pages are mostly splash pages with very little dialogue and I was completely confused as to how this issue left off. It almost seemed like the last couple of images were simply pin-ups but that wasn’t too clear. This left me on a downer and I am certain this was not Stokoe’s desired effect.
I can talk about Stokoe’s art all day and I’m not sure I can give it any kind of justice. It’s something you simply have to see to believe. What he does is fill every piece of every panel with some of the most creative and detailed strangeness I have ever seen. He simply skimps on nothing. You will have no complaints about lack of backgrounds or empty panels, this book is filled with pencils. His coloring approach is a mix of fluorescents and pastels. It can’t possibly be everyone’s taste but I would think it would be impossible for anyone to pick up the issue and not be impressed by the effort. Visually, this is a stunning book.
Aside from the confusion at the end I found this issue to be a stellar read. If you are looking for something totally different than pick this issue up. Don’t be scared off by it being the sixth issue. Everything you need is right in this issue. Pick it up and have some fun.
3.5 out of 5 Geek Goggles