By Dustin Cabeal
If I wanted to, I could name two movies and infer that Sink is in several ways the love child of the two movies and it would be enough to convince you of not only the quality but the excitement that is Sink. I could do that, but we’re talking about a comic, and quite frankly I have never read anything like Sink before. Perhaps I’ll tell you the name of the movies at the end of the review, and if you’re so inclined, you can jump to the end and call it a day. If you stay, well then that means you must love comics and are dying to know about ComixTribe’s newest title.
John Lees is a daring comic creator. I say that because he’s shown time and time again that he’s willing to tell stories that are uncomfortable and edgy in a way that comics haven’t seen in years. Sink is as brilliant as it is uncomfortable and terrifying.
The story follows Allan, a man that seems to love and relish in Glasgow. That is until he misses the last bus out of town and is forced to walk home. Suddenly the city he was bragging about and complaining about its reputation, seems a whole lot scarier. He runs into a guy with a condom on his head and what seems like an uncomfortable conversation with a drunken stranger turns violent when the man holds a knife to his face. From there he’s chased by more men with condoms on their head until he finds himself backed into a corner, seemingly about to be killed until an unlikely hero saves him. Unfortunately, for Allan, he’ll probably wish that he had died there.
Sink is by far one of the creepiest stories I have read in that it’s grounded in realism. True terror comes from the realm of possibility. Sure, a bogeyman is scary because it’s supernatural in origin, but a normal person doing the same thing is much more likely to happen to someone. That’s the type of terror that Sink is filled with from start to finish. There is an element of realism that is ignored, and that’s law enforcement, but frankly if I were a cop in this city, I would take the night off as well.
Lees’ writing is fantastic as he builds up Allan’s character and then breaks him down. It’s amazing how quickly we get to know him and understand his personality, but also see his public face and his true face. He’s a frightened man, and such his true nature is revealed. The rest of the characters are intense, believable and again, frightening.
Alex Cormack’s artwork and coloring are amazing. It’s his best to date, and that’s saying a lot considering how highly I regarded his work the last time these two creators worked together. Cormack’s characters are extremely consistent. Not that I’m hugely bothered when artists can’t make a character look the same from different angles, but when they do it elevates a comic instantly. The character designs in Sink are realistic, detailed and stunning. The coloring also helps with the realism as Cormack adds textures and lighting effects that make the city feel alive, dirty and grimy all at once.
Sink, if you still care, is the love child of House of a 1,000 Corpses and The Warriors. There you go, there are your two movies, but this is a comic that a hundred percent stands on its own and by far the best comic I’ve read from an indie publisher since Lees’ And Then Emily Was Gone. I don’t know if Sink is titled as such because the creators are going to throw everything at you, but it sure fucking feels that way.
Writer: John Lees
Artist: Alex Cormack