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Orc Stain Volume 1

James Stokoe (Author, Illustrator), Image Comics (Publisher)

> Review by Michael Hoffert Jr.

For a million millennia the world has cracked and convulsed under the indomitable mob of the orc.” Thus opens auteur James Stokoe’s epic story of a savage race of violent creatures lusting for power, control, and the almighty gronch. Orc society is slowly falling under the thumb of the Orctzar and the only thing that can stand in his way is the orc named One-Eye, a clever thief whose hand isn’t complete unless it is holding a hammer. Stokoe, who wrote, drew, colored, and lettered every page of this book, packed it to the brim with imagination, detail, and humor. The colors almost have more in common with a 1970s black light poster than they do with traditional four-color comics, and the line work is delicate yet rough, blending styles that range from Japanese manga, European sci-fi, and American dynamism to create a startling unique voice in comics. The story feels both grand and epic, yet also light and funny, full of brilliant ideas like a bear with a safe for a stomach and fuzzy yellow animal familiars but also massive battle sequences. James Stokoe’s imagination at work, once seen, cannot be unseen. You will want more. I guarantee it.

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