COMIC REVIEW: Warzone #1

Just the other day, I had a Twitter conversation with Jesse Grillo of Bleeding Ink Comics. He was gracious enough to send me over a PDF of all his comics to review. The following review is of his comic Warzone, which currently has a Kickstarter.

To boil it down to a simplified version, Warzone is about “meth addicts with uzis”, as Grillo jokingly described it on his Facebook page. In reality, it’s so much more. We follow Johnny, a former soldier and current drug addict. After a drug deal goes bad, he must fight both corrupt cops and drug dealers in order to live through the night.

We start off in a flashback to the Iraq war where Johnny’s convoy gets attacked by the enemy. We then cut back to the present where Johnny does some drugs before heading off to work, where he gets paid today so he and his friend can get another score. We then cut to a meeting between the cops and drug dealers where some obviously shady dealings are going down. After another flashback, Johnny and his friend head out to Ricky the drug dealer’s house. On their way out, we’re made known to a little plan that the cops have to deal with Ricky.

After Johnny gets there, does some drugs, and play some video games, the cops burst in, looking to collect on their protection money. A firefight ensues, Johnny’s friend dies, and the meth lab explodes. Ricky and Co. leave the scene quickly. On the way out, Johnny crashes into a cop car, killing a deputy before he flees. Johnny experiences another flashback while Ricky calls in some backup. After Johnny runs home, he comes face to face with a dead man from his past, Ray. Ray has some plans for Johnny and plans for revenge, which Johnny is going along with, whether he likes it or not.

Jesse Grillo has written an interesting story. You’re faced with a character who isn’t necessarily the epitome of goodness, but you can’t help but feel for him anyway. He’s lost part of himself, so you really feel bad for him. Grillo’s range as a writer is wonderful, as he can write many different types of stories, and write them all well. The way in which he writes drug addled characters as just hanging out and playing video games, is both wonderful and hilarious. And the unforeseen twist at the end was interesting. It’s just a great job all around.

David Brame does a magnificent job on the art and helping bring this story to life. The characters are represented well on the page and are very expressive. From the depiction of Johnny, you really get the feeling that he’s been doing drugs. The colors by Heather Breckel are vibrant and bring some added life to the art. All in all, the art compliments the story very well. The art team was definitely a great choice for the story.

Overall, I love this little story. It’s definitely a good one. Jesse Grillo delivers as a creator and storyteller, and Brame and Breckel deliver on art.

Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Leo Johnson


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