While best known for their anthology Papercuts and Inkstains, the guys at Madius Comics are bringing out more and more character-centric comics; from creepy horror Corsair to new All-Ages comic Bun (which our interview about here). However, perhaps the new star of the Madius show is salty sea dog Griff Gristle, who returns for more high-seas, monster hunting hijinks in his second issue, The Siren’s Song.
Publisher: Madius Comics
Writer: Rob Jones, Mike Sambrook
Artist: Rory Donald (Pencils, Colours), Brad Dolman (Logo, Design)
Griff Gristle: The Siren’s Song sees the eponymous sailor return with his partner in crime, Justine, and his faithful vessel, Betty, to defeat more oceanic evil. This time, Griff and Justine embark on a mission to defeat a Siren, a fabled lady of the sea with a deadly voice, as she finds herself onboard a rock and roll cruise unleashing beasts and causing havoc. However, Griff and Justine discover there is more to this than meets the eye when information from a contact tells them that this Siren has been unleashed by an ancient, and once thought extinct cult (who have crossed paths with Griff before, having taken from him from his beloved Betty!)
As with their debut, Rob Jones and Mike Sambrook have produced an enjoyable second adventure for their grizzled seaman. The pair have done a good job of creating a tale which, while giving a natural progression from issue 1, also feels like a brand new story, making it a great jumping on point. While this story is a little dark, it is nonetheless a fun tale with a good amount of humour, particularly from Griff’s sardonic nature. In fact, the lead character is the main draw here with his grizzled demeanour and sarcastic one-liners being very endearing imbuing a cross between Hellboy and Wolverine. Of course, the story itself has weight, giving readers an intriguing supernatural mystery and an epilogue which provides some nice insight into the comic’s [presumably] main villain.
Once again, Rory Donald’s artwork is top notch, and whether intentional or not, the whole thing feels like a nice homage to the Mignolaverse, mixing Hellboy characterisation with more B.P.R.D. style colours. This isn’t all there is to his pencils though, as Donald really shows off a very vivid imagination, producing some exceptional monsters, particularly the titular Siren, who really looks unnerving with her perfect mix of monstrous and feminine looks during the concert. Overall, Donald does some solid work here, utilising a style which works well for the type of story being made here, not to mention a fantastic Dark Knight Returns homage early on in the book.
After a strong debut Griff Gristle: The Siren’s Song manages to move things onwards and upwards with some fantastic writing and gorgeous art working really well together. This series is fast becoming a fun and exciting read and is undoubtedly pushing ahead to be Madius’ flagship character comic. So if you are looking for a supernatural/action comic (which isn’t owned by Dark Horse), then it’s time to get on board!