Creators: Emma Kubert, Rusty Gladd / Image
I miss libraries. Or rather, I miss the concept of libraries. In the information age, I didn’t actually spend that much time in libraries given the preponderance of texts that I have readily available in my own house and online, but with libraries come a certain sense of comfort and mystique. There is something to be said about entering a building that is meant to house stories and tomes. There is something to be said about being surrounded by knowledge. And that same something is also why fantasy books live the concept of archives. Inkblot is the latest comic that is a story about stories, and one I remembered how to read cursive, I found myself playfully engaged with the Seeker’s inadvertent trigger to the story.
The first act of Inkblot is a lot of your standard world building affair. There is an introduction to your magical lands, vague allusions to an ancient evil, and a not so subtle shift to the present day as we find our reluctant, nameless protagonist. And our main character starts off the adventure by creating a cat made out of magical ink and thus the story truly gets started as this magical black cat is every bit as mischievous as your standard cat, except with some extraordinary abilities that make pet care a little difficult.
Kubert and Gladd work well together and the blending of creative control results in something truly stunning to look at. The art has a distinct flair comprising of Kubert’s pencils, Gladd’s inks, and finished with Kubert’s colors. Gladd’s words accentuate a lot of the work that the visual storytelling manages to accomplishes, and there are some truly marvelous panels that resonate with minimal text. The lettering of the narration is a little hard to read, but this is coming from someone who gave up on cursive years ago, and I acclimated quickly enough.
It takes a while for Inkblot to build momentum, but once the actual inkblot shows up, it’s a chaotic run to the end and reminds me of Pagemaster, a movie you may or may not remember, but I adore as someone who loved and loves libraries. Inkblot‘s a good starter fantasy and one with some stunning visual design. It evokes a familiar level of comfort and I’m hoping once we get to spend more time with the magical familiar, Inkblot will come into its own.
7.9 “Library Cats” out of 10