Review: Ken Games – Vol. 1: Rock

We’re all a bunch of liars. Seriously, we are. We all tell white lies and occasionally big lies and that’s kind of the way of life. We all know it, hell we can spot it on occasions, but that doesn’t make it okay. The tagline for Ken Games is “Honestly is not always the best policy.” Which should kind of tell you where this story is going. The first of three volumes focuses on one character, Rock. He’s a boxer known at the “Mathematician” because he’s a bit of a math whiz. After his first match we continue to learn about Rock and his best friend from college as they meet up for their usual catch up. This time his friend T.J. brings his serious girlfriend Anne to the meet and it becomes clear that Rock hasn’t told anyone that he’s a boxer. After all, his father was a great mathematician and everyone kind of assumes that’s what he’s doing.

1-rock-tome-1-1-rockFrom there the story begins to follow all three characters while keeping Rock as the narrator. Rock’s manager lands him his first professional match and his math is put to the test, but comes up short. At the same time, we see that Anne isn’t a teacher, but works at a bar as a waitress instead. T.J. is also leading a double life as a professional gambler going up against some dangerous people and taking all their money with his own math skills.

The story shows all three characters get knocked down by life. Some more gruesome than others, but there’s still plenty of twists and turns to go through as all of their stories mange to hit an incline. Rock is by far the character I liked the most. The other two are interesting, but I think Rock’s story is the most sympathetic.

The narration is a strong part of the story. Rock’s narration reveals a lot of insight into his life and personality. The dialogue is also very strong, natural and realistic. The conversations flow like conversations and you feel include in them almost, even if you’re a silent participant.

The artwork is where the books shines. Be it that this is published by Europe Comics, the style is very European. The characters are stylized, but realistic looking to a degree. What really brings out the style and the artwork in general is the coloring. The coloring is hard to describe. It’s great, but I can’t place my finger on what to compare it to. It’s not water colored and yet it has the depth of water coloring. Its animated and yet would never work as an animation because the depth is too great. It’s vibrant and has wonderful lighting throughout the volume.

This is unfortunately one of those books that as a reviewer you really hope you sell the book enough with what little you can say about it. There’s more to the story and I’m curious to read the next two volumes to get the entire story, but I didn’t want to ruin the reading experience with my review. The book is available digitally as that’s the goal of the publishing company and I would check it out if you like stories that involve the seeder side of life or just a good story about the lies we tell others.

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Ken Games – Vol. 1: Rock Writer: Robledo Jose Manuel Artist: Toledano Martial Publisher: Europe Comics Price: €6.99 (Roughly $7.65) Format: Mini-Series; Digital Website