Review: Blackwood State – Tales of Englishness #0

One gem that I picked up at New York Comic Con was Blackwood State – Tales of Englishness. There was something about the clean linework on the cover and the angry-looking female protagonist that caught my eye. After creator Ivan O’Neill was done hitting on beard, and yes I do mean just my beard he seemed to care very little for the man it was attached to, I took my bounty and moved on. I wish I hadn’t because I had a question upon finishing the issue… when will there be more? This zero issue is very short, clocking in at just four pages, but in those four pages it does a lot of things right. It introduces us to the main character and establishes her personality and unique voice. It introduces the supporting cast and does much the same for them as well. It also begins to set up our setting within just four pages. What it does really well, and I mean really well, is make you laugh.

Blackwood State #0If the term “Lady Boner” doesn’t at least make you crack a smile then frankly I just feel sorry for you. How is up there in too good to laugh at “Lady Boner” land? Is it nice? I wouldn’t know because us normal people down here we laugh at shit like that.

The story is straight forward, we meet Gwen and her two friends enjoying their last night before college classes begin. Gwen is telling a story about how her lady boner was totally killed and that eventually leads to the setup of what she’s expecting for the school year… which is pretty obviously not going to happen because then we wouldn’t read the story. I’m not going to tell you any more than that since you can read the issue online for free and I don’t want to spoil any more jokes.

The story while simple does everything it needs to. According to the site this is being made for a graphic novel in mind and then broken up into issues. Frankly I have more interest in reading the complete project, but I’ll take it either way. O’Neill has shown that he knows what he’s doing and has structured the story to proceed from these four pages. Plainly put this zero issue has substance relevant towards the story.

The art is wonderful. It was honestly the thing that drew me. The style has a familiar or at least similar look to something I’ve seen before, but I can’t place it. All I know is that I like it. Some of the art is covered by the word bubbles, but I really didn’t mind since I was having a good time reading it, but that would be my only feedback, thinner word bubbles so that the art can breathe more. Otherwise the style has a great over the top cartoon look to it and would be right at home on something like FX or Adult Swim.

Again you can read this issue for free online. I would say that it’s worth it and really are you going to tell me you don’t have five minutes to spare? I’m being generous I don’t know how fast you read so five minutes. I’m looking forward to the next issue or the graphic novel. Whichever it is, I want it.

Score: 4/5

Writer/Artist/Creator: Ivan O’Neill Colorist: Kara Zisa Publisher: POWkabam Comics Price: Free Online Website