Drawing Blood, Vol. 1 : Spilled Ink - Review
The Story Behind the Stories
Drawing Blood is a Kickstarter book that is the creation of Kevin Eastman, David Avallone, and Ben Bishop. It is about Shane “Books” Bookman, the co-creator of an enormously popular comic, the Radically Rearranged Ronin Ragdolls, that went on to worldwide pop culture fame (toys, tv shows, movies, etc.). We find the creator down in the dumps, plagued by his past, up to his eyeballs in debt, and trying to save his life from Lithuanian mobsters. When juxtaposed against co-creator Kevin Eastman of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fame, the premise leaves you wondering how much of the story is fictional and how much is drawn from real-life experiences.
This is an extremely solid book. Eastman, Avallone, and Bishop put together a well-paced story all the way up to the cliffhanger ending. Once you pick it up, it’s hard to put down. “Books” is a fantastically flawed character looking for his own redemption while screwing it up along the way. For me, the Lithuanian mobsters are the surprise breakout characters. Sometimes written a little too close to type, they have enough subversion to make them dryly funny when needed.
Bishop’s art is fantastic. He has a great eye for character design, expressions, and panel layout. I keep waiting to see when he will become a “breakout artist” working for major publishers. His choices in his linework really set himself apart from others and help define his own style. Personally, I have already backed Volume 2 of Drawing Blood on Kickstarter and cannot wait to read it.