The other day, I had a Twitter conversation with Jesse Grillo of Bleeding Ink Comics. He both creates and writes comics there at his little independent publisher. He was nice enough to hook me up with some PDFs of all the comics he’s put out over at Bleeding Ink. The following is a review for the first issue of Chapel.

We start off the issue with some cops detaining a robot, as the robot screams that it committed a crime in self-defense. We then meet the eponymous character Chapel, and watch as he kills the robot. In the exchange that follows we get the feeling that Chapel has less than nice feelings concerning robots. Cut to a bar scene, where Chapel is drinking away his troubles, and kills another robot after it walks in looking for a job, something Chapel isn’t too keen on. Back at the police station, Chapel is reprimanded and handed a new case, one which involves robots robbing weapon depots. After talking to one of his informants, Chapel heads over to the stakeout the weapon depot. After he takes out one robot, another, larger robot takes him down, but not before he shoots it in the head. Gravely wounded and near death, Chapel is found by the authorities and rebuilt, and is now part robot, he’s part what he hates.

Jesse Grillo continues to deliver in this, the fourth of his varying comics that I’ve read. Though not really the most likable of characters since he’s a racist of sorts, you can’t help but respect Chapel in a way. You understand that he’s almost a man out of place, a man not okay with the progress around him. Grillo makes a character that could easily be unlikable, be a hero, and props to him for it.

The art of of David Brame is so good in the comic. The lack of color works so very, very well for this comic. The black and white tones add depth to the story that maybe even color couldn’t quite give to it. It adds a “noir” type feel to the story, making it all the better.  The art is very expressive and makes the characters pop, only strengthening the overall story.

Overall, the comic is just great. I know I’ll say this in all the other reviews, but Jesse Grillo is awesome. He needs more exposure. He’s already making some top-notch comics completely without the help of a big name studio at his back. I can only imagine the stuff he would produce given the proper funding and support.

Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Leo Johnson

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