Sea of Sorrows #1
IDW Publishing 2020
Written by Rich Douek
Illustrated by Alex Cormack
Colour Assists by Mark Mullaney
Lettered by Justin Birch
In the aftermath of the Great War, the North Atlantic is ripe for plunder by independent salvage crews. When a former naval officer hires the SS Vagabond, he leads the ship to a sunken U-boat, and a fortune in gold. Tensions mount as the crew prepares to double cross each other, but the darkness of the ocean floor holds deeper terrors than any of them have bargained for!
I love the work these guys do, they’re not bad blokes either, so when we see them working on a new book together you know it’s going to be damn good. This doesn’t disappoint on any level as an introduction to the story and it really does get you into the story in a powerful way. This is how you set-up and move things along in one first issue and it shows how well that Rich can create and structure a four issue limited series.
I love the way that this is being told! The story & plot development that we see through how the sequence of events unfold as well as how the reader learns information is presented extremely well. I like the technique we see in the storytelling itself as the story as well because it helps not only set the dynamic between the characters and it helps to further the story arc at the same time. The character development we see is spectacular and it is equally handled between actions and words. How the characters act and react to the situations and circumstances that they encounter really do help to define them. The pacing is superb and as it takes us through the pages revealing the story and this world we get to see the twists and turns along the way that will leave you begging for more.
How this is being structured so that it showcases how effective the layering can be. As the story continues and the layers within become more prominent well it really makes for some utterly fascinating reading. I love the fact that with each new project Rich becomes a stronger and stronger writer is exciting in and of itself in ways that excite me. So to think that this is as damn good as it is and he’s still learning and growing is kind of scary, in a good way.
Oh the interiors are incredible! Speaking of growing Alex has always been a strong artist but now he’s been able to hone his talent in ways that we’ve not seen before. I love the way we see the linework and how the varying eights and techniques are being utilised to create the detail work we’re seeing here. Seeing that shark underwater was a highlight for me though they were thought to be extinct until quite recently so it’s just an added bonus to where the character is and what he’s doing. How we see the backgrounds being utilised throughout is brilliantly done and we get some great depth perception, scale and that overall sense of size and scope to the story. The utilisation of the page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels show such marvellously talented eye for storytelling. The colour work is gorgeous! How we see the hues and tones within the colours being utilised to create the shading, highlights and shadow work is superb. The choices of colour and how a light source is so important to how we see what we do is just incredibly well rendered.
Some of today’s best storytelling comes from these great publishing houses. It makes me wonder why anyone would think this is less than working for the “Big 2” because I would much rather read something like this where we can see the passion for the project that seeps off the pages. This is a beautiful start and it’s smartly written, engages the reader and really lights up the imagination.