Formula writing dominates monthly comics to the point that you can basically tell how an entire arc is going to go based on the first few pages. There’s a few writers out there that create their own formulas and others that revamp formulas all the time. With independent comics formulas are rarely used or in a lot of cases used incorrectly. In the case of Warshiner, the story has a lovely flow, but I think that a lot of casual readers would likely get pissed off by the pacing because it’s nothing like mainstream comics. To say it plainly, it’s better because it has no formula. The story begins with a onesheet explaining that earth alcohol is a hot commodity on the intergalactic market. We’re then whisked away to a tropical looking planet and a ship letting out different aliens including one human, Dr. Evelyn Ambrose. She heads into the local bar and tastes the goods and is disappointed. The person at the bar next to her is a tall, pale looking native to the planet. They strike up a conversation and he informs her that if she doesn’t leave with him she’ll likely end up robbed and murdered. A bit convenient, but I still liked this scene.
From there Evelyn is taken to a private island and introduced to Sana, apparently the living Queen of the planet. I’m sure there’s a bigger story going on about her not being in power, but we’ll have to wait for those details. Through their conversation Evelyn reveals that she’s a moonshiner and botanist. Sana wants to go into the alcohol business and so a partnership is formed. We also learn that Evelyn is on the run for some reason which I’m sure will play heavily into the story.
Overall the story is very interesting. There’s definitely some convenient bits like Evelyn running into the guy at the bar who’s boss just happens to be looking at going into the booze business. But I’m very curious about where the story is going. There’s a bit at the end that introduces some antagonists to the story and their inclusion seems significant to the story.
On the art side. I dug it. It’s not perfect and there’s several places in which the character’s faces are strange and don’t look like the rest of the issue, but it’s mostly forgivable because of the dynamic art style. There’s a couple times that there’s a real sense of movement in the issue. The coloring is also very strong and makes the book stand out from other indie comics. It’s not just a fill bucket, but rather a real sense of art was used for the coloring.
The lettering is one of the weakest things about the issue. The font is rather large and a sometimes the word bubble is way too big for the panel. The font was also very generic and didn’t give the story or characters any personality. The right letterer could really improve this issue as even some of the word bubbles looked sloppy and constantly broke panels when it wasn’t needed.
Overall I liked the issue. I didn’t think I would and maybe I won’t in the future because it’s about moonshining and that’s not really a subject I’m into. But I dug the characters and the world. I want to see more of our antagonists and figure out what Evelyn is on the run from. If you feel like taking a chance on an indie book this week, then give Warshiner a chance.
Warshiner #1 Writer: Rebecca Rotherschild Artist: Katie Rodriguez Price: $5.00 (P), $2.00 (D) Format: Print/Digital Website