Writer: John Lees
Artist: Alex Cormack
Letterer: Shawn Lee
Sharon is a cleaner. A cleaner who specialises in making dead bodies disappear. And when Anne and Thomas Kelvin’s attempt to spice up their sex life ends in tragedy, Sharon is called in to put things right.
While this latest ComixTribe release is being marketed as SINK #2, it’s worth clarifying right off the bat that it isn’t a continuation of the same story that we saw told in SINK #1. Instead, writer John Lees has created a “shared universe” of sorts, with each issue telling a different story featuring the inhabitants of the (hopefully) fictional town of Sinkhill on the outskirts of Glasgow.
For this second installment – enigmatically dubbed “The Door at the End” – Lees adopts a markedly different approach to the first. Gone is the pulse-pounding, palm-sweating horror, replaced instead by a slower, more psychological approach. There are still horror notes here, but the impact of the story is felt more through the interactions between Sharon and the poor unfortunate victim than the “omg run for your life!” pace of the first issue.
Unfortuately, it’s fairly difficult to discuss the actual content of the story without spoiling its impact entirely, but suffice to say that Lees takes great pleasure in subverting our expectations in several different and creative ways throughout the course of this issue.
One thing I can talk about however is the artwork of Alex Cormack, which – as I’m sure you can see from the preview snippets dotted around this review – is every bit as fantastic as we’ve come to expect from the man by now. Granted, he’s perhaps given slightly less to work with here from a ‘showy’ point of view (no vans full of clowns or brutal fox-faced shovel attacks to be had here), but he still manages to showcase his gift for facial expressions and tense, cinematic layouts, with impressive results.
As strong as the book as a whole is visually, there’s one page in particular that really stuck with me. It comes about about two-thirds of the way through this issue, features an axe, and, believe me, you’ll know it when you see it. It’s a moment of beautiful synergy between writer and artist where Lees’ narrative beat is brought to life perfectly by Cormack, stopping the reader dead in their tracks as they turn the page. It’s brilliant stuff, and yet another textbook example of just how well these two creators work together.
The denouement in the final pages is impressively executed, and pretty much guarantees an immediate re-read in order to figure out just where things ‘changed’. Again, no spoilers, but there’s a wonderful sense of ambiguity at play that will prompt more than a little head-scratching and personal interpretation from each individual reader. Whatever way you take things, however, there’s no doubting that this is yet another incredibly strong story that – while perhaps not as visually striking as the first chapter – is definitely a far better showcase for the intelligence behind Lees’ writing.
So, is the second chapter as strong as the first? Well, that depends on your personal taste, but for me, this is every bit as impactful as the exploits of Mister Dig, albeit in a very, very different way
Ultimately then, this is an intriguing, well-illustrated and ultimately thought-provoking story, and when you consider the marked difference between the first issue of SINK and the second, I can’t help but get ridiculously excited to see just what genre Lees and Cormack turn their hand to next.
To stay abreast of all the latest SINK news, including advance PDF copies of each issue, make sure to “Get in the Van” by by subscribing to the official SINK mailing list at sink.comixtribe.com.
You should also make sure to follow the official Facebook Page for artwork, news, discussions and more.