‘Coffin Bound #1:’ Advance Comic Book Review

“If the world will not have me in it, it cannot have me at all.” ~ Izzy Tyburn

Writer Dan Watters (Sandman Universe: Lucifer, Limbo) and artist Dani (2000AD, Girl with No Name) have collaborated on a brand-new title, Coffin Bound (Image Comics), that Entertainment Weekly has selected as one of the five must-read comics this August.  The bright pink cover with yellow lettering pales in comparison to the edgy, angry brunette (Izzy) that dares the reader to a stare-down will be lining up on local comic book stores’ shelves this Wednesday, August 7.  

The opening panel of a broken-down house on the edge of nowhere with mannequins strewn about the yard quickly establishes its grindhouse roots: gritty, tense, and with the expectation of violence shortly to erupt across the page.  And, it does so with immediacy and energy.  Izzy Tyburn is the woman from the cover, and, as she awakes, she meets Vulture, a pieced-together creature with an uncanny sixth sense.  The banter between the two bites with sarcasm that plays with and balances the nervous humor that often accompanies dangerous situations.  There is a vibe of the 1960s spaghetti westerns that starred Clint Eastwood as the mysterious gun-toting stranger.  Without giving away the narrative beats of the first issue, the Image Comics press release describes Coffin Bound as a “book about cars, guns, and sex – and how each of those things does little to stave off the bottomless void waiting just beyond the veil of our known existence…”

Given Izzy’s statement that opened this review, “Coffin Bound is a story of self-destruction, but also about how we each stumble through a series of happy and unhappy accidents that become the tangled web of our lives, and how we very much may need to just take it or leave it all together,” said Watters in a SyFy Wire July 11, 2019, article by Josh Weiss.  Issue #1 excels with setting up Izzy’s journey – a road trip down memory lane – to leave this world.  Watters’ dialogue is sharp-witted and equally matched by the smart visuals that keep the pace moving forward.  Watters and Dani are obviously cut from the same creative cloth; further into the SyFy Wire article, Watters states, “We both come from pretty snotty DIY punk rock backgrounds, and that sort of energy is exactly what we wanted in the book.” They nailed it.

In addition to Watters and Dani, Brad Simpson (JesusFreak, MCMLXXV) and Aditya Bidikar (Deep Roots) are on board to complete colors and letters, respectively.  Simpson’s color palette flows across the spectrum of muted browns to vibrant florescent green that pops off the page and, at all times, complements Dani’s energetic illustrations.  Bidikar’s lettering is balanced in each speech balloon and narrative block.  The pointy font of Vulture’s dialogue matches the rough tones that one would expect of a vulture.  Graphic designer Emma Price rounds out the creative team, and each creator has brought their A-game to the table for Coffin Bound - every part ticks in unison with exact precision.   

When asked what readers can expect from future issues, in an interview with Adventures in Poor Taste’s Nicole Herviou dated July 15, 2019, Watters said, “We’re definitely gonna dig into Izzy’s past more.  She’s on a road trip backwards through her life, trying to undo it as she does.  And we’re gonna discover just how easy or difficult it is to extricate yourself from the world around you and from other people’s lives.”

Issue #1 of Coffin Bound will drop this Wednesday, August 7, at local comic book retailers.  Fans of grindhouse will not be disappointed, but this series is also a good entry point for readers looking for a complex main character narrative and a cast of intriguing supporting characters.  Do not let Izzy disappear without checking out Coffin Bound and adding it to your pull list.

Creative Team: Dan Watters (writer); Dani (artist); Brad Simpson (colorist); Aditya Bidikar (letterer); Emma Price (graphic designer)
Publisher: Image Comics
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