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Kickstarter Alert: Stain the Seas Scarlet Review

Comic Books

Kickstarter Alert: Stain the Seas Scarlet Review

A new Kickstarter graphic novel that’s a satisfying revenge-tale.

Kickstarter Alert: Stain the Seas Scarlet Review

Writer Ryan K. Lindsay (Beautiful Canvas, Negative Space) and artist Alex Cormack (Sink, Oxymoron: The Loveliest Nightmare), have just released a new Kick Starter campaign for the comic, Stain the Seas Scarlet. It’s a one-shot sci-fi book that will be available in December as a PDF, or, if the stretch goals are met, a limited run of 100 variant cover copies in print.

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From the Kickstarter page:

When Yelena’s planet has just about been successfully driven beneath the boot heel of the scumbag robot terraforming army, she throws a Hail Mary play. She takes the fight to them, via her diplomatic sell out sister, an she fails. Or does she? What comes next is a spacesuit noir that’s my take (Lindsey) on a 70’s revenge flick with our wandering hero loose in space.

STSS doesn’t waste any time getting to the meat of the story. There are five preview pages you can read for free on the Kickstarter page, and they basically cover all the backstory you’re going to get in the full book. After the brief introduction and setup, the comic shifts into full space battle mode, with Yelena bringing the fight to the enemy.

Kickstarter Alert: Stain the Seas Scarlet Review

Lindsay has a thing for writing kickass female protagonists, like Lon Eisley in his Beautiful Canvas series. Yelena proves she isn’t the no-nose, giant eared, red alien-woman whose world you want to mess with. Lindsay does an especially good job with the dialogue, as there is a lot of surprising humor in the latter part of the book, where you might not expect it — in particular the banter between Plath and his sentient ship as Yelena assaults them. The tone of the book stays consistent (a badass, last-ditch, revenge brawl) even with the humor. As a character, the directness with which he has Yelena think and speak help define her for the reader as most of her history is only eluded to.

The art really jumps off the page, thanks to Alex Cormac’s unique style, especially the ones set in space. The colors used are bold and rich, which makes the contrast with all the blacks in space stand out. When Yelena is in the battle with Plath, she’s mostly darkness, with a gold outline, which turned out to be a really cool design choice. The same goes for Plath, as his face is obscured by a mask, but there is an effective panel showing his one red eye as he sees Yelena for the first time that conveyed the menace of his character and may have been my favorite moment in the book.

Kickstarter Alert: Stain the Seas Scarlet Review

Is It Good?

I really enjoyed this one. It’s a fast, but satisfying read that imagines the “revenge-tale” in a pretty unique setting. There isn’t a lot of depth to this one, but there wasn’t supposed to be. I feel like everything it was intended to be made it to the page (or PDF in this case). It’s fun, badass and pretty to look at. What else do you want?

Back this campaign on Kickstarter today!

Stain the Seas Scarlet
Is it good?
Stain the Seas Scarlet is a cool space-revenge tale, featuring a tough and interesting heroine and some pretty killer art direction that makes it stand apart from other sci-fi fare.
The panels jump out at you, especially in the latter half.
You can root for Yelena. There’s no second guessing or self-pity, which made for an epic ending.
Unexpectedly funny.
Artwork like this deserves to be on a page, but unless the comic makes certain stretch goals and you’re lucky enough to get one of the limited 100 issues, that’s not going to happen.

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