This book is rather interesting to say the least. With very little in the way of a theme tying these tales together. The comic as a whole feels as if it’s simply whatever stories these creators could think of placed into a single book because there was nowhere else to put them.
But don’t think that’s all necessarily a bad thing. I actually quite like the variety show this comic gives you however it would be nice to have a sort of theme tying them all together. With two of three of these tales being horror-esque it probably wouldn’t have been hard to do another horror tale in place of the western.
Speaking of that western yarn A Roll of the Dice is a fun little tale but I do feel it could’ve done better in its pacing. It’s a non-linear tale of these down-on-their-luck townsfolks who come together in a bar to plan a heist of a casino that’s taking all the town’s money and they want to take it back. Running simultaneously with their plan making we get to see the future heist in progress.
So it’s running back and forth between both the past and future and blending the present to where you’re not quite sure which one is the present. Which is great. The problem I had most with the story is that not always do the causes and effects line up. With stories like this you want the panel from the past where characters set up a certain part of the heist to line up near perfectly with the reader getting to see that action followed through in the future. What we get though, mostly, is seeing panels where the heist sets happen in the casino and then two or three panels later, taking place in the past, we’ll see our characters planning out the very thing we just saw happen.
It feels disjointed in that regard but overall it is a fun little story. And I appreciate it being a more local affair that effect these townsfolk only rather than being a world-spanning epic like heist films can often end up feeling like. I also enjoyed the variety of different characters that were featured in this tale, each one having their own special skill or quirk. The characters were very fun.
The art as well feels very much like an old time cartoon. The art is quite entertaining and adds a lot of fun and depth to the story and the characters. I would like to read more stories by Angela Sprecher simply for her fun art.
Moving on over to our second story, Vampire Wonderland, I just wasn’t impressed with it. It really felt like a filler story that didn’t have much to say or much to add to the overall product. It wasn’t a bad story mind you, the idea of zombie-like creatures also being vampires does intrigue me but overall I never found myself on the edge of my seat.
I did enjoy the message of hope at the end of it however, when it’s revealed our main character has an immunity to the vampire-zombie’s bite. Yeah it’s cliché but if done right like it is here than I don’t dislike it. I also would’ve liked to see the vampire’s be more like, well, vampires instead of the zombies they basically end up being. Again, not a bad story, just not a great one. I also wasn’t hugely impressed by the art done by Paul Moore.
The final story Slaycation was my favorite of the three by far for how fresh and original it felt. Four young adults show up in a vacation locale to have a time of their lives. And as the story unfolds we find out that these young adults are the horror villains from movies that invade other’s homes and torture/murder them. So we get a great twist there that definitely drew me in.
At first when the mystery was revealed before we got to see the the young adults in action I felt it might’ve been a missed opportunity in letting the story unfold naturally. However there’s actually an even cooler twist still to come that had me just super impressed and excited.
Their next targets, an old elderly couple who obviously have experience in this kind of past time are anticipating these kids’ arrival and completely turn the tables on them. Our murderous villains are slain in the most brutal of fashions by this badass elderly couple and its so cool and so fun.
The art definitely was the weakest link of this story, but it wasn’t awful. It just could’ve used some more finesse. Though Rosie Packwood really sells the gore in the story which helped the overall aesthetic.
Overall this wasn’t a bad comic. But it does feel disjointed and I really feel bringing together a theme for these stories would’ve helped quite a bit with that. Papercuts & Inkstains is doing a good job though of letting smaller indie creators have a voice and I appreciate that.
Final Score: 3 Zombified Vampires out of 5
Editor’s Note: Interested in checking this out for yourself? Head right here!
Papercuts & Inkstains #3A
Madius: We Are Comics
Writers: Rob Jones, Mike Sambrook
Artists: Angela Sprecher, Paul Moore, Rosie Packwood
Reviewer: Derrick Crow
Summary: Anthology book of 3 different stories by various writers and artists set in several different original worlds. The first is a cartoon western heist yarn, the second a vampire/zombie survival story and the final tale being a home invasion horror tale.