Indie Comic Smash or Grab: James Burton’s DAMAGE Inc.
published by Scattered Comics
Independent comics. What sets them apart? What makes someone want to fork down money (often more than the big name companies) on something that is undiscovered or even aesthetically less pleasing at first glance? Well, did you ever listen to a song somewhere and on a whim grab up some music? Then you just had to share it with your friends. Anywhere from weeks to months later, that same band is huge on the radio, and you have this feeling of “Yeah, I knew about them before they were big.”
Well, it’s kind of like that. The sense of being a part of something bigger. That’s exactly the feeling I got when I opened the cover of DAMAGE Inc. With a title that definitely promises action, I was sideswiped by a meaningful story from the creator James Burton. This peek into what has inspired James validated my interest in his mission to carve his own dreams from stone to reality.
I knew I was part of something bigger than my interest in independent comics. I knew I was a part of someone’s dream.
DAMAGE Inc. has us following a group of monster bounty hunters as they are on the trail of something that had attacked a person in an alley. Before long, the group finds themselves in a heap of trouble, as they seem to have found what they were looking for – and they find themselves in a slimy situation. This group of bounty hunters may look like a bunch of bad-asses, but looks can be deceiving, as they have much room to grow their skills. Many action-packed panels rip through to the conclusion of part one; which is just half of this premier issue of DAMAGE Inc.
Damage Inc. is what I would refer to as a “diamond in the rough” when it comes to comics. Independent comics have a variety of things to really take into consideration when reviewing them, as one can become jaded by popular titles with big budgets and production teams backing them. The first thing to address is the unavoidable aspect of how to look at the artwork. Does it rival Todd McFarlane’s Spawn? The short answer is no it doesn’t. Is the artwork consistent? Very much so. So I attribute this consistency in the artwork to style and artistic freedom.
That being said, there are a few other technical issues. During part one, I found some of the lettering styles a little harder to read, with the varying styles making some pages seem jumbled, and some dialogue boxes feeling cramped or confusing in their layout. The dialogue style choices did alleviate themselves through part two, however, and I found it to be a much easier read. The colors were fitting and portrayed setting, emotion, and action well. The characters were easily read and expressive throughout the issue as well.
The writing of DAMAGE Inc. is where this title excels, however, in it’s ability to direct the reader through the story and punch through the action sequences. With a couple of exceptions to pacing, the quirky one-liners and a clear depiction of character trait differences between characters all help the reader identify with each unique group member. The choice to skip back stories for the characters seems to help in the format of this comic, with the concentration being on what the title is all about (action, and DAMAGE). I would definitely recommend this title to anyone willing to ditch the traditional and be willing to throw down with some action packed pages and become a member of DAMAGE Inc.
With only two short weeks in the Kickstarter campaign for DAMAGE Inc. #3, you can get to be a part of the success of this title.