Dig #1, a Sink Tale

written by John Lees
art by Alex Cormack
color by Cheryl Rodriquez
letters by Shawn Lee

Published by Comixtribe
buy it HERE.

Show then tell.

This is an awesome comic. This is the best comic of the year that I've read. John Lees and Alex Cormack have managed to put together an uncompromising, riveting, harrowing tale of hard decisions and vengeance. Dig #1 doesn't hold back on its villainy either. The bad guys here are more like unstoppable forces of nature rather than quirky people who made a few wrong turns in life. The balance between Mr. Dig, the fox-masked vigilante and his foes is so expertly done, evenly matched without a sense of artifice that you have to wonder how this will turn out.

Mr. Dig is Rojan Hardi, a survivor of the Iran Iraq war who was forced to move his family to a cheap rent high rise in Edinburgh Scotland near Sink Hill. What forced him is revealed in a chilling flashback that I won't divulge. Usually I don't care for flashbacks but in this case it really works to fill out Rojan's motives and show his survival skills. There's also a neat tie-in with the shovel as Mr. Dig's weapon of choice that makes perfect sense.

The Writing.

John Lees has to be commended for his skill in putting scenes together that have just the right amount of action. Also refreshing in the extreme is the absence of 'jokey' asides or cultural references that seem to grow like weeds on other indie comic books. Lees takes a very sober and serious approach to his character's choice of words and expressions. Rojan, even when in a relaxed setting, gives one the sense that he's a man weary of the horrors of his past. That John Lees can do this without being obvious is a sign of a skillful writer.

There's an unflinching sense of purpose behind John Lees' writing. He isn't concerned with eye candy -in the form of cool looking superhero costumes or elegant settings. That too is a welcome digression from what is the norm today. Instead of elaborate dreams or visions of what the author would like to see (wish fulfillment) we get a hard core unadorned tale that needs to be told in a setting that's way, way less than perfect. Bravo.

The Art.

Alex Cormack/Sheryl Rodriguez manage to create a very approachable aesthetic. It's odd how ordinary they depict the people here. No Jack Kirby pyrotechnics here, the fight scenes (and there are many) underscore jabs and blows in a darkened setting that somehow... works. In place of polished line work or fancy camera angles there's a dutiful loyalty to the character's struggles. Everyone's depicted in a way that gives them just enough space to do their deeds, whether good or evil. Alex does use odd panel shapes that go off the page in bold movement to match the action when it gets ramped up. For as ordinary he depicts his people, and as grimy as Sheryl colors them, they are not ordinary at all. Their use of shadow has to be mentioned. It's phenomenal! Faces, eyes, grimaces plunge from out of the darkness to confront the reader.


John Lees and Alex Cormack/Sheryl Rodriguez have accomplished a rarity in comics here. That is in a reciprocating helix of just the right visuals that feed just the right dialogue. Or is it the other way around? No matter. Run out and buy this today!

Next Tuesday:

The crazy, crazy antics captured in Ichabod Jones: Monster Hunter by Russel Nohelty. A hard bound book with its origins going back to 2011, now updated from Scout Comics! Looks scary and fun!

Tim's Notebook

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