Inkblot #1 Review: Comfort Food Fantasy for Cat Lovers

Inkblot is a brand new fantasy series from Image Comics created by Emma Kubert and Rusty Gladd that stars a librarian in a fantasy world and a mischievous black cat. Gladd, in the backmatter, breaks down their collaboration, saying, "The art comes first. [Emma's] pencils, my inks, her colors, and finally, my words. It's a seldom-used process these days, but once upon a time, it was called the Marvel Method." Let's take a look at Inkblot #1 and see if this worked for the series.

Inkblot #1 by Emma Kubert and Rusty Gladd. Credit: Image Comics
Inkblot #1 by Emma Kubert and Rusty Gladd. Credit: Image Comics

"The art comes first" rang true for me after reading the issue and discovering this about Kubert and Gladd's process in the back. The writing is almost an afterthought, with the issue serving a heavy helping of exposition at the front of the comic, almost as if to get it out of the way. Inkblot #1 truly picks up when it leaves all of the backstory behind and gets to that good, good cat content that we came for. The black cat, which is conjured by spilled ink in a magical library, is both the story's impetus and the star of the show. With a simple "Mow" and wide-eyed glances, this cat's antics in a library, through a portal, and during a chase with giants is immediately more interesting than the fantasy and mythology set up in the beginning. It's clear that there is more too the story, and it feels like the protagonist's family of legends will become more interesting as she experiences them in actual scenes rather than the reader being told what a bunch of characters we haven't yet met is known for.

Overall, Inkblot #1 is a fun, light, comfort-food style read for both cat lovers and fans of tongue-in-cheek, The Princess Bride style fantasy. This story feels at its best when it's not taking itself too seriously, which is felt far more after the cat's arrival. And hey, that kind of reflects life in general, which is always better when a cat walks in the room.

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About Theo Dwyer

Theo Dwyer writes about comics, film, and games.
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