Indie Comic Review – Cognition #3

Our pal Kit reviews comics for us! This is one of those reviews.

Warning: minor spoilers.

“Bit melodramatic… I bet he destroys the cauldron.” Sigma (Demonic Mouse)

Time for another Indie review this week. This time I’m taking a look at Cognition Issue #3, which is currently on Kickstarter. I’ve previously had a look at the Cognition series and was curious to see how it was coming along. Although this is very much an indie comic lead by creator Ken Reynolds it has a very distinct story, art style and left an impression that made me want to come back to it. This comic is bought to us by:

  • Script and Letters – Ken Reynolds
  • Artist – Sam Bentley
  • Editor – David Hailwood

Set in Victorian England, Cognition combines steam punk with the occult and mystery to deliver a cast of steam powered robots, demonic mice, investigators and Shuck, the terrifying monster dog who recently joined their party. As with previous issues the interactions between the characters, the snark of Sigma the demonic mouse bouncing off the Cal the robot is a particular enjoyment of mine. The on-going investigation brings the team to the Welsh Countryside where they encounter Gwinddonod, a mysterious old crone whose tales of legend provide further insight into the investigation. Reynolds’s strengths are certainly at play here as he delivers a narrative which hooks the reader in, with vivid language which Bentley turns into fantastic imagery.

Bentley provides a unique and distinct art style which I cannot help but associate with the series. The black and white presentation adds to the atmosphere and sense of dread while also reinforcing the feeling that this is a tale from a bygone era. The two tone style could easily lead to a rather bland read, but Bentley manages to instead embrace it and provides a level of detail in the panels, particularly with the characters which evokes a sense of realness I wouldn’t have expected from the premise of the comic. One issue I did find is when I first read this comic as a digital PDF on my phone. I have a fairly decent size phone but I did fine the art was less clear when viewed one that sort of device and it made the story harder to get into. My second read on a computer screen was a totally different experience though, which lead to the praise I’ve given above. When you read this I strongly recommend either a hard copy or if a digital done on a screen which does justice to the comic.

It’s also worth noting that Reynolds does an excellent job with the lettering, providing distinct styles for each character, which adds personality to how I imagined their voices in my head. I’ve seen Reynolds’s work on lettering in other comics, though I feel he’s at his best in Cognition.

Final Verdict

Kickstarter is currently open for this series (link here), and if it sounds like your kind of thing then get on there and back it. In my opinion this series started strongly and is continuing to improve as it goes. Check it out on Kickstarter and be sure to pick up the previous issues too.

You can also follow @CognitionComic on twitter to keep updated

 

Have an indie comic you’d like reviewed? Get in touch with Kit at lostlighthouseindie@gmail.com!

Indie Comic Review – Cognition #0

Our pal Kit reviews comics for us! This is one of those reviews.

Warning: minor spoilers.

“Still…. It’s better the devil you know.” Sigma

I’m picking up another review this week while Adam focuses on his PhD. I thought I’d mix things up a bit with another indie comic review – I decided to check out Cognition, published after a successful Kickstarter campaign.

  • Script and Lettering – Ken Reynolds
  • Art – Sam Bentley
  • Editor – David Haliwood

As with many indie comics a small creative team put Cognition together. The story follows Silas Pope – a spy working on behalf of B.O.S.S., the British Occult Secret Service, Hattie Griggs – an agent working under Silas, Calibre 507 (Cal) – a steam powered automaton inhabited by a displaced human soul and Sigma – a mouse inhabited by the spirit of a demon. The comic jumps right in with its first of three introductory stories. We get to see typical cases investigated by B.O.S.S., the supernatural horrors they’re up against and what happens when Sigma is let loose to do his thing.

One of the small issues I’d flag with this comic, as it jumps right in with the plot I did spend a bit of my first read through wondering who exactly was who and especially what was up with the mouse and automaton. There are useful character bios on the final few pages though, which helped fill in the blanks. Being critical it would have been useful to have a bit more exposition during the stories themselves to understand who’s who in this story.

9aefab5c7fe1a55521f39db4292532c9_originalThe art has been done entirely in black and white, which helps set the Victorian era tone of the comic. Sam Bentley did a very good job, using shadow effects and contrasting black and white where need be to create the right atmosphere and add a sense of the supernatural to the occult threats. Ken Reynolds does a fantastic job with the lettering throughout the issue. I was very impressed with this. Different fonts are used to add to the intimidation of the demonic forces and the speech bubbles skilfully lead the readers eye across the pages.

The real question though, Sam Bentley’s art has impressed, but is his hand drawing skills up to scratch? Out of the three stories told throughout the issue hands are only really shown during the first, even then due to the nature of the character interactions they don’t appear in any sense of detail too often. They look good when they’re on panel, though even then contrasting art styles, where the characters are often shaded completely black limits the detail of the hands you can see. 7/10 for hand drawing skills!

Final Verdict

It’s a very solid first issue, a little more exposition to who the characters were would have been useful, though the concept to the story is very cool. The art is very impressive as well. That in itself is enough for me to check out the next issue. I definitely recommend picking this up if you want something a little different. You can check out Cognition here.

Score: 7.75 Soul Fragments out of 10