Inkblot #3 by Emma Kubert and Rusty Gladd continues the adventures of a reality-hopping cat in a fantasy world.
Cat lovers are going to smile at the opening line: "Despite my efforts, the cat remains at large." We can relate.
What's harder to relate to, though, is the other characters in Inkblot. It's easy to love the reality-hopping cat when drawn with those expressive eyes and adorable little face by Emma Kubert, but the adventures that the cat witnesses and keeps kind of participating in aren't nearly as interesting as the cat itself. Here, we get a tale of pirates and sea creatures. The artwork is stunning, with Kubert's lines and colors working well with Gladd's inks to tell a visually dynamic story. It's the dialogue that fails to add anything interesting about the characters in this issue. The writing has felt like an afterthought through this whole series, which is interesting considering how most of Inkblot, with the exception of the first issue's oddly expository opening, could have communicated just as much as a silent comic.
Inkblot doesn't have a character problem because its lead is a cat that gets into all sorts of fantasy mischief. That's beautifully functional as a protagonist and a catalyst for the plot. It's just that the standalone stories told here don't add up to much. The most intriguing moment here is a single image of serene beauty as the cat rides a sea "monster" through the foggy waters while a bewildered man looks on.
As with the second issue, Inkblot would be a terrific read if it focused less on trying to build intricate mythology for characters we're going to ultimately spend about ten pages with and instead let this be a simple, fun, quirky fantasy adventure starring a cat. That part of the story, not the standalone tales about people in each issue, is what makes Inkblot memorable. If it leaned into that and dropped the rest, it could be a truly great comic.