Review: Tumbler Down

I’m going to start off by telling you that I really enjoyed this one-shot story. It is going to be incredibly difficult to tell you about the story because really it’s the journey of reading it that makes it so good. I’m just telling you that up front because things could get short and vague, but really this is a one-shot worth checking it, if only because one-shot stories are becoming increasingly rarer and rarer in the world of comics. So many “one-shots” are really just attempts at generating interest in a larger story. Tumbler Down is a self-contained story and it’s better for it. The issue opens with a man running into a bar out of the rain. He stands before a big dude who suddenly embraces him. We get a quick exchange of names, our main character’s name being Frank and his friend’s being Dom. Dom asks about the wife and we see a panel of a polaroid picture of Frank’s wife doing it doggy style with an unseen man that is definitely not Frank. Oh I should mention this issue is for mature audiences or if you’ve managed to buy this without your parents checking then hey good for you. Dom asks Frank what he’s going to do about his wife to which he replies, “Something really bad.”

This sets the stage perfectly for what we’re about to encounter in this story. We know that Frank has some dangerous connections which means that he’s not the cleanest person in the world. We go on to see how he discovered his wife’s adultery and from there out story moves on until it passes the point we started at.

Tumbler-DownIt’s a very tightly woven story. The pacing is quick and while you can kind of guess the ending, it moves so fluidly that it’s rewarding either way. A large part of the success is the page/panel layout that artist Jesse Davidge has picked to accompany Rob Andrews story/words. Each page continues the mystery of how the story will really end. There’s a great deal of misdirection going on and it works very well for the story.

Davidge’s style is familiar in a way. I’ve see more of Davidge’s work, but it’s more than that; there’s some artistic influence that I can’t quite place. It’s a nice mix of gritty and clean linework. It’s also very dynamic at times. At one point a punch is thrown, but just before that you see the anger in Frank’s eyes. It flows very well making Davidge a hell of a visual storyteller.

A lot of the art’s success comes from the coloring from Allison Chan. I love the lighting that Chan uses. Each location and setting has its own unique lighting effect that works to create the mood and atmosphere for the scene. It really makes the book look gorgeous. If you appreciate good coloring in comics, then you’ll really appreciate Chan’s work on Tumbler Down.

If you’re looking for something fun and entertaining to read this week, then I would recommend this book. You don’t have to invest a lot of time or money into it and the story is definitely worth reading. Books like Tumbler Down are exactly why I read indie comics and I hope to see more of this quality in the future.

Score: 4/5

Tumbler Down Words: Rob Andrews Artist: Jesse Lee Davidge Colorist: Allison Chan Publisher: Blatant Studio Price: $0.99 Release Date: 7/29/15 Format: One-Shot; Digital Available on Gum Road or Comixology