Writing - 8/10
Art - 8.5/10
Overall - 8.3/10
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King of Nowhere #1
Writer: W. Maxwell Prince
Artist: Tyler Jenkins
Colorist: Hilary Jenkins
Letterer: AndWorld Design
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Maturity Rating: Mature
Release Date: March 4, 2020
Denis has his own addiction and problems he is dealing with, but now, in the town of Nowhere, he finds himself fitting in with the local population.
“King Nothing” King of Nowhere #1
W. Maxwell Prince and Tyler Jenkins bring us to the town of Nowhere in King of Nowhere #1. It’s a town inhabited by a variety of strange and wild characters. Fish men, people that look like deer, and all kinds of mutated weirdness abound. But Nowhere is just like any other small town: it has its quirks, friendliness, and dark side. When Denis awakens from yet another drunken stupor in the town of Nowhere, he thinks he is living a very vivid dream, but soon finds the dream is a reality. Despite all the strange creatures around, Denis fits right in with the locals. But, like many, Denis has skeletons in his closet, and they came with him into the town of Nowhere.
W. Maxwell Prince transports us into this world of Nowhere. Prince starts off King of Nowhere #1 quickly. We “awaken” with Denis on the first page as he stumbles across this town. Much like Denis, the reader discovers things about Nowhere as Denis discovers them, though we are aware sooner that this is no mere dream. It is a good, fast set-up that gets this 5-issue mini-series on track quickly.
Though the cold open is good for the first issue, it is a little hard to build any attachment to the characters right now. We only really know about Denis, and we don’t know much yet besides he has an obvious drinking problem, but Prince does set up in this issue that he is a good guy at heart.
Prince sets up Denis as a lovable screw-up in this issue. Though he has a lot of problems, it seems he tries to do good by people. But he does have a past and that past is catching up to him, which is the driving point of the series and how Denis’s past will affect the town of Nowhere.
Tyler Jenkins brings his loose, wild, yet tight art styling to King of Nowhere #1. I have talked about it before in reviews of Grass Kings and Black Badge, but Tyler Jenkins just has this odd style. At first glance, it seems very loose and almost abstract in places. Sometimes proportions are a bit off, his linework at times is a bit sketchy, and everything has a bit of an odd look. But then when you look closer it is full of tight, wonderful detail. For example, there is a shot of the inside of a bar filled with odd characters; it all feels loose and free, almost hard to concentrate on a singular thing. But then there are other panels, like one with a wonderfully detailed jeep that looks close to the real thing.
I think this mixture makes Tyler Jenkins perfect for a series like this. King of Nowhere #1 has this mixture of fantasy and real-world setting and characters and Tyler Jenkins captures that astoundingly through the issue. Though at times it can feel a little muddled, he brings this wonderful sense of “dreaming” to the pages while capturing spectacular detail and emotion from the characters.
I can’t picture anyone else coloring Tyler other than Hilary Jenkins. Hilary brings a wonderful watercolor feel to the coloring scheme. I am not sure if is exactly watercolor. But it has that feeling to it. It adds such a dreamy, otherworldly feel to the issue. Her coloring also adds a great emotional sense to King of Nowhere #1. It gives a fantastic, free spirit, almost melancholy type vibe to the series.
If you like a bit of fun, fantasy, mystery, in your comic books, then King of Nowhere #1 is something to check out. Though we have seen many “fish out of water” tales like this before—normal person gets somehow transported into wild, weird world—it seems that Prince and Jenkins look to put a little different spin on it. It will take more than one issue to confirm whether their spin on the tale is worthwhile, but it is off to a good start in King of Nowhere #1.
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