I just read Issue #1 of the new, 4-issue limited series Tabatha by T-Publications . . . and damn. Just damn (in a good way). Why don’t I tell you about it?
It’s written by Neil Gibson (www.neilgibsoncomics.com – totally worth checking out), with art by Caspar Wijngaard (Pencil, Inks) and Anja Poland/Caspa Wijngaard (Coloring), and lettering by Comicraft. The story is compelling. A loser(ish) mailman encounters the usual stuff to show us what a loser he is (stutters in front of the hot girl, gets picked on by his boss, encounters obese/naked/awkward folks in their houses, and gets threatened/yelled at by old ladies). A day in the life of a nerd, right? From here, I expected the story could take several turns:
A. He could be bitten by a radioactive poodle and become “Poodle-Man” with the proportional strength, blah blah blah;
B. He could get recruited by one of his mail-clients (I just made up that word.) to go on some adventure, where he is the bumbling sidekick/comic relief to the hero; or
C. Things could get dark.
I’m not sure about you guys, but I like me some darkness. That’s what Neil Gibson delivers. Turns out our mailman has an ulterior motive for taking on his job, he makes a bad choice (You should ALWAYS go into the creepy room alone!), and something goes down. The story ends perfectly with the question (This isn’t even a spoiler, I don’t think.) “Who is Tabatha?” – and now I want to know. So now, I’ve got to read the next 3 issues.
Art, you ask? For me, the best story in the world can get pretty obnoxious if the art doesn’t fit. Fortunately for me (and you!), Caspar Wijngaard (I love typing his name.) delivers. Big time. He captures the innocent/funny day in the life of a mailman bit nicely, and then transitions to creepy without a hitch. His art is simple and pleasant to see; you don’t need to squint to see what he created. I particularly enjoyed his homage to various sci-fi/action movies – read it and you’ll see. The guy’s got talent.
In short, I loved this comic. Buy it. Read it. Wait for #2. This may not be the easiest comic to find, as T-Publications is pretty nascent (that means new) in the US . . . so call around. It’s worth the trouble.
A little more? Sure, why not. Back to Neil Gibson. Turns out this guy is taking the UK by storm with his graphic novel, Twisted Dark . . . which I look forward to reading. (Note to my Editor: Can I read this please???)
T-Publications is his own indie comic publisher, so he’s doing this on his own. Memorize his name, and read/buy his stuff now. I suspect we’re looking at the emergence of a very significant player in this game moving forward. Based on what I can see, his vision is similar to Neil Gaiman’s . . . which means that you can expect him to go far both with us nerds, but also with the mainstream folks out there.