TKO Studios is releasing its third wave of TKO Presents titles this week, which include some fine short zines including The Father of All Things. Written by Sebastian Girner with art by Baldemar Rivas and letters by Stev Wands, this short story gets at the evil one might find in war. More specifically in this tale, in World War I.
It’s worth noting TKO releasing zine comics is a huge win for the comics industry in general. The format is fantastic for casual readers, but it also allows for a different kind of story. Told mostly via captions, the story follows a German kid who slips into the army as an underage kid, but wants to help his country. Soon he witnesses the horrors of war, but finds a strange tunnel. As he enters this impossibly deep and oddly formed tunnel, the story delves into disturbing territory. What is this tunnel, and what created it?
There’s a parable in this story that gives it purpose once you’ve put it down. To get there though, you must enjoy quite an interesting monster reveal. Girner does well to create a mythic sort of creature that’s well worth dancing over your imagination. At its core, there is an interesting idea at work in regards to wars between humans and entities that may guide us. It’s a reminder humanity is good at heart, but things do drive us to kill and make us do things we are shocked to see we are capable of.
The art by Rivas is quite strong and he handles the color art as well. There’s a clean and very fluid nature to the art that is reminiscent of anime and allows the panels to dance into the mind of this soldier. The horrors of war are displayed well with terrible wounds and the No Man’s Land battle scene laid out well.
For only three dollars this story is also printed well with a good feel to the cover and thickness to the pages. It may be short, but you will certainly be able to read this many times without damaging it. The Father of All Things and other TKO short zines are the kind of tales you’ll want to share around with friends.