Writer: John Lees
Artist: Alex Cormack
Letters: Shawn Lee
Release Date: 7th August 2019
Louise and Kieran are an average couple, newly single after long-term relationships and looking to start over. Anyone who’s tried to start dating again in their ’30s knows that it can be a minefield, but they’re determined to make it work and prove that love can thrive anywhere, even in Sinkhill! However, when an unexpected late night visitor throws Louise and Kieran’s plans for the evening into disarray, things soon escalate as only an issue from SINK can.
By now, the eagle-eyed among you will have spotted that I’m a wee bit of a SINK fan, and with that in mind, I have to say from the start that this is the absolute best issue of the series so far. No ifs, ands or buts, this is the best one yet. John Lees said from the beginning that this issue is a love story and you know what? It actually is. Granted it’s perhaps not your typical love story (but with Lees writing it, did you really expect it to be?), but however fucked up and insanely horrifying things get in this issue there is most definitely a romantic heart beating at its core.
Now obviously the path to happiness is always a little convoluted. There’s plenty of twists and turns, and between the “oh shit!” moments and those that will have you crying with laughter, there’s not a huge amount of time to take a breath. There are moments that are wonderfully tender at the most inappropriate of times; there are moments that are laugh out loud funny at the most inappropriate of times, and there are moments that are so ridiculously brutal that you find yourself stop and wonder what kind of mind can produce such glorious filth!
Both Louise and Kieran are characters that I’d imagine a lot of readers will be able to really relate to. They’re vulnerable and a little bit brokenm, and they’re just looking for happiness, in whatever form that takes (in this case a buttplug the size of a melon), but when the chips are down they are so incredibly bad-ass it’s just awesome to watch. Props to John for giving us the best battle cry in the history of battle cries.
So yes, this is a love story, but it’s also probably the most insane home invasion story you’re ever likely to read. I mean, this night goes from bad to worse to “oh my fucking god, we’re all going to die!” in seconds and I loved every second of it. Seriously, every panel of every page is just perfect.
As always, Alex Cormack is producing artwork on an unbelievably high level. If you’ve read any of my reviews of projects he’s been involved with this year then you’ll know I rate him as my favourite artist at the moment and, for me, nobody is even coming close to how good the characters he draws are. With regards to SINK, it seems that whatever insanity John Lees throws at him he just knocks it out of the park every single time. I’d have loved to be a fly on the wall when Lees and Cormack discusses this issue, “so, we’re going for a pitched battle with only sex toys to defend themselves with? No worries, I’ve got this…”
I have to say that I loved the contrast in this issue. All the tender, peaceful moments are delivered in dark environments (a restaurant, a night time street), whereas all the violent, horrifying aspects of the story are delivered under the gaze of 80w bulbs and pink wallpaper. It’s fantastic to see that it’s not just Mr. Dig that can deliver a thorough, arterial spray soaked, ass kicking when required.
Also, without spoiling anything for you, the last page of this issue has taken pride of place as my most horrifying moment in comic book history for, reasons… you’ll see… don’t say I didn’t warn you!
As is tradition, there are some call-backs to characters we’ve met before, in the form of Witness Ryan (last seen in in Lead Balloon I believe), Allan (our tragic protagonist from issue one), Rojan Hardi, and I’m fairly certain that Dickhead Ian is in here too.
If the main story itself isn’t enough, we’re also treated to no less than three brilliant single page Sinkhill tales in this issue that showcase work from several supremely talented UK creators. This issue has stories from Jane Sayer and Chris Baldie, Heather Palmer and Allan MacRitchie, and Ell Balson and Stephen Sutherland.
We also get an essay from John Lees on his inspirations for his stories and his process, in this case The Night of the Virgin and the game of “yes, and then?” I love reading these. Many years ago I had aspirations of being a writer but I just wasn’t disciplined enough to be consistent and reading things like this make me wish I’d had someone like John to talk to 30 years ago.
Also, we’re due for a collected Volume 2 “Blood & Rain” which I’ve already got my order in for with my LCS, and this is going to be backed up with a Kickstarter which I believe starts later this month and includes a limited edition hardcover edition. If you caught the last one you’ll already know how damned good the Kickstarter offerings are for SINK (and for ComixTribe in general), so make sore keep an eye out for announcements!
Simply put, this is the best issue of the series so far, from my favourite creators of 2019! A twisted love story from the closest place to hell on earth and it’s absolutely beautiful! I can not recommend this series enough, so get out there and grab this off the shelf as soon as you possibly can!
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The writer of this piece was: Mark Scott
Mark Tweets from @macoy_comicgeek