Whenever I have to hop the 2 or the 5 train going into Manhattan, I’m always treated to an urban gallery showing of just a minute portion of the expansive graffiti art that the Bronx has to offer. Dancing alongside the buildings in awkward places are brightly colored tags, dripping with the passion of the artists that created them. This is what I was immediately reminded of when I read the first issue of Joseph Krzemienski and Courtland Ellis’ dynamically rendered digital comic, Stabb Gunner.
From the first glimpse of the cover, you’ll see what I’m talking about. I think I mentioned before that Courtland has a natural graffiti/hip hop influenced style, but Joseph’s colors only serve to enhance it, pretty much shoving Courtland’s art right in your face. It has a fluid motion, dynamic energy, and attitude that is pretty impossible to ignore thanks to the collaborative efforts of these two artists. With an animation-like, manga-influenced quality, Stabb Gunner almost reads just like that – sequential stills of an animation where the key parts of the story are hand-picked and wrapped in the nice digital package that is NxtBook, an app that makes reading digital comics simple and intuitive.
Joseph takes the helm as both colorist and writer of the Stabb Gunner universe. The story is pretty straight-forward. Enter Stabb Fisticuffs, a pretty nonchalant guy and talented fighter who has apparently given up a life of violence in favor of a more peaceful lifestyle as a wandering monk. If you can’t tell by his name, the story and characters don’t take themselves too seriously, but we still get the sense that there’s much more to Stabb than meets the eye. Without giving too much away, I’ll just say that there’s a part of his past that seems to haunt him even now, and I’m sure it will come up again the deeper we dive into this story.
Honestly, this probably won’t be for you if you’re a fan of raw, gritty comics with almost no undertone of humor. But if you’re a fan of quirkiness and comedy in your comics with a side of action and serious character development, then I would recommend checking this out. I would also recommend it because, well, it’s free. You almost HAVE to. And you’re not really doing anything anyway, right?
This first issue is really a preview of Courtland and Joseph’s upcoming Stabb Gunner graphic novel, which will be released in print. Stay tuned for more news on that, but in the meantime, the boys were nice enough to send me over some preview pages from what would have been the second issue, but is now being incorporated into the graphic novel. Don’t say I don’t love you.
Stabb Gunner has been brought to you courtesy of The Fictory.
Stabb Gunner Comic: http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/postagevfx/nxtd/#/0
Stabb Gunner Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Stabb-Gunner-Scene-City/126491060790646