The Undisputed King of Nothing 1: Goodbye to All That by Paul Stapleton [1. Review copy provided free by Bedsit Press] follows the non-adventures of our unnamed protagonist in a post-apocalyptic world.
The UK has been devastated by a new type of flu, and now, months later the unnamed protagonist seems to be the only person left alive in the world.
This is not an action packed debut in the vein of Crossed, which loving details the worlds ending in graphic detail. This is quiet, empty and oddly claustrophobic, showing only the after-effects, allowing us to imagine the horror.
This first issue is effectively a set-up for the world and the main character, as we follow his routine, his philosphising, and his doubts about his own sanity. He is desperate to find other humans, yet afraid over what such a discovery might mean. The effect on the reader is unsettling, almost eerie.
The art style ties in with this, being seemingly simple, slightly crude pencil sketches, but over time these add to the sense of loneliness and isolation, of unimaginable horror lurking in the recent past.
Overall, while it is a quiet start, it’s effective. A sense of threat and dread is palpable, and without revealing spoilers, the ending is dramatic enough to appeal. If you’re an action junkie, it won’t suit you, but if you prefer your fiction a bit more ‘thinky’ you’ll love it.
I will be looking for future episodes, and strongly recommend a purchase.
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