Written by Thomas Hall.
Art by Daniel Bradford.
Published by Blacklist Studios.
At a glance you’d almost think that this was a Mike Mignola Hellboy story. Something that seems to have caused some small amount of controversy among some comic forums, is this the case?
R13 refers to Robot 13 a sentient machine that is found by some fishermen near the coast of Spain. As soon as he’s found a massive sea creature attacks the fishermen and the robot springs to life and battles the monster. Robot 13 has no idea of who or what he is, save for some waking dreams of ancient Greece. The first issue starts off quick and then accelerates the action.
Daniel Bradford’s art-style in the first issue is remarkably close to that of Mignola’s but only in the use of inks and minimal colouring. In the later issues his depiction of humans differs a whole lot by looking more cartoony. If I was to guess, Bradford started off being a complete fan of Mike Mignola and was totally inspired to be as good as him but as he kept on drawing so developed his own style.
Thomas Hall’s story draws on Grecian myths and legend but with Robot 13 being part of it, it then becomes something unique and very entertaining. The pace is breakneck but the backstory and main plot all move forward with a natural and organic feel.
The lettering is perfectly done with FX and placement on the panels. All in all this is one professional comic and an obvious passion project for all involved. As after a little digging it would appear that this comic has been on the go for over 2 years but due to the obvious difficulty of self-publishing has only hit the 3rd issue.
The good news is that thanks to a successful kickstarter campaign the trade paperback of the first volume should be on the way. The campaign is still active so you can obtain the trade and some other goodies depending on how much you contribute.
R13 may have been a long time in the making but it’s such a solidly made product that I think it can last and go on to great things as it is off to a very impressive start.