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Comics Are Trying to Break Your Heart #89 by Drew Barth

A Legacy in Ink

Like a Kirby comic, you know exactly when you pick up a Kubert comic: direct storytelling and an expansive setting. These two qualities have become so ingrained in the language of comics since the 70s that it’s no wonder that The Kubert School exists as a location to be trained in comics and illustration. Joe Kubert began this style, Andy and Adam Kubert continued, and now Emma Kubert and Rusty Gladd build upon this legacy with their new series from Image, Inkblot.

Inkblot#1 establishes itself as a modern take on classic comic fantasy from the 60s and 70s. Steeped in the tradition of magic, mystery, and realms that hearken back to Norse mythology, Inkblot also seems modern, thanks to a magical cat who brings ennui and mischief in a way only an internet saturated audience can really appreciate. The cat magically appears and causes chaos, much like my own cat. The story centers on The Seeker, the unnamed sibling of the founders of magic, who chronicles her family’s adventures through the seven realms. When a bundle of spells and a pot of ink are knocked off her table, a little cat of magic and ink is born, immediately ripping up papers and opening portals in The Seeker’s library.

All of these older fantasy trappings make Inkblot such a fun comic compared to some contemporary fantasy series. Kubert and Gladd are bursting with story throughout this sprint of a twenty-page first issue. But they know not to try to jam as much as possible in the beginning—they give themselves the room to keep expanding while dropping bits of world building and story in off-hand moments of dialogue. Our main character only briefly mentions that she’s thousands of years old and the information is told in passing in such a way that I’m now waiting for the later arc explaining how her and her siblings have become living gods of magic.

I haven’t been this excited for a fantasy comic since DIE last year.

Inkblotis a piece of a wider, generational comic legacy. Emma Kubert builds from the work of her grandfather and expands on it.

Get excited. Get that cat.

Drew Barth (Episode 331) is a writer residing in Winter Park, FL. He received his MFA from the University of Central Florida. Right now, he’s worrying about his cat.