Papercuts & Inkstains returns with its fifth issue, seeing the team of Mike Sambrook and Rob Jones on writing duties for all three stories this time round. For the first, Immersive Gaming Experience, they're joined by artist Bob Turner, who also provides the glorious cover, inspired by computer games of old. This first story pushes tongue firmly through cheek, is unashamedly unsubtle while being satirical, and huge fun, riding a wave of nostalgia and finishing with a modern twist.
Artist Paul Moore joins them for the next story, the second instalment of the Vampire Wonderland series. It's an absolute gem of a tale, proof that the team are as good at drama as they are at humour, building the world and the story nicely. It's action-packed too, and the art is stunning, the black and white creating a wonderfully grimy atmosphere. This series has massive potential; if it continues like this, future instalments could find it being mentioned in the same breath as The Walking Dead. Seriously, it's that good. We're promised more and, quite frankly, the wait is going to be intolerable.
Profits of Doom is as ridiculous as ever, but that's certainly not a bad thing. Our inept heroes still crack wise, despite the apocalypse occurring around them, and there are moments of humour that are completely inappropriate for this type of story, but work remarkably well. Anyone who’s read this will know exactly what do expect, and won’t be disappointed; artist Mike Smith gets better with each issue, and here he includes a final jaw-dropping money shot of a final page that’s like a Lovecraftian nightmare. Again, this is a series suited for black and white, but we can't help but wonder how stunning it would be in colour.
The Madius offerings this year so far have proved they’re growing into a force to be reckoned with. The high quality of storytelling we've come to expect has been maintained, while the humour that makes this magazine so memorable has never been sacrificed or compromised. The teams are true to themselves by telling the tales they want and are doing so with great skill; mountains were climbed last year, but judging by this offering the stars are certainly within reach.
PAPERCUTS & INKSTAINS #5 / WRITER: MIKE SAMBROOK, ROB JONES / ARTIST: BOB TURNER, PAUL MOORE, MIKE SMITH / PUBLISHER: MADIUS COMICS / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW