After a phenomenally successfully Kickstarter back in 2014 for issue #1 of Bust from Dave Cook & Chris O’Toole I got my hands on a copy at a recent con.
The first thing that grabs you about the release is that cover from Craig Paton which makes the attention grabbing statement that every other comic aims to make and while the interior artwork is significantly different from Chris – it doesn’t detract from the quality of the title…….you just have to give it a chance. The story itself follows Jack, an ex card-dealer who has evolved to become a pit-fighter in a gritty post-apocalyptic world. While that world hosts the typical zombie-like creatures you’d expect it thankfully doesn’t focus on those as we’ve probably already seen our fair share of those in zombie comics from mainstream and indie releases.
Instead, we get a story focused firmly on Jack and the journey that’s seen him try to save his nearest & dearest against all odds and continue to fight for that promise of freedom…..IF he can repay his debt to the city’s kingpin, Eddie Scott. That’s a big “IF” hanging over his head but Jack’s battle-scars alone show just how much he’s had to face to retain that glimmer of hope.
Dave manages to build up an intriguing new world to get lost in and although there are a couple of panels of artwork that seem to lose their edge with perspective & quality, 99.9% of Chris’ work is in perfect sync with the writing. Any story lives or dies based on the quality of their characters though and the creative team make it look easy with the strength of Jack alone. The shift of focus to Jack’s life instead of a relentless barrage of zombies separates this from a sea of other releases and brings that need to read more.
While this first issue feels like a complete story that ties up those loose ends I was pleased to hear that a second kickstarter is on it’s way soon……something I’ll be sure to keep an eye out for and I suggest that you do that as well…..after picking up this first issue of course.