Saturday, January 16, 2016
Orc Stain by James Stokoe
The world has been overrun by orckind for a million millennia. Kingdoms rise and fall in a matter of months—or days. The world is chaos, but chaos is all the world's ever known.
However, one day an orc rises to power—and doesn't fall back down. He manages to unite kingdoms never thought uniteable, and conquer lands never thought conquerable. Timeless borders are abolished; ancient lands are littered with the corpses of any who stand in the way of the southern world's new tyrant. Nothing can escape the wrath of the Orctzar.
Far up north lives our protagonist, a one-eyed orc nicknamed "One-Eye". (None of them have actual names, but the greatest are given numbers post-mortem.) One-Eye likes to stick to his own business—busting locks, and surviving. He lives in a part of the world that's mostly at peace—or as much at peace as a province filled with orcs ever could be—doing what he can to stay out of trouble.
Unbeknownst to One-Eye, the Orctzar has learned from an ancient prophetess that in order to find an object of great power that he seeks, he must find an unspecified one-eyed orc in the north. Eager to obtain this object, and be supreme ruler of the entire world, the Orctzar sends multitudes of troops to round up every one-eyed orc in the northern hemisphere of the planet. One-Eye obviously wants nothing to do with these goings-on, and hightails the hell out of there.
This is the premise to the first volume of Orc Stain by James Stokoe, a beautiful, crazy and vulgar graphic novel about a brilliant and insane world. Stokoe is the creator, writer, artist, colorist, and letterer. Seeing as this is a top-quality graphic novel with incredible art, hilarious writing, and an tremendous amount of worldbuilding, that is mightily impressive.
Stokoe takes us on a highly fantastical tale though incredibly intricate lands, full of strange creatures and odd whatnots. It's a very unique concept, and the amount of content packed into this book (168 full-color pages) is impressive. The fact that it was all created one man is awe-inspiring. If this seems like something you'd be interested in, definitely check it out.
Caution: Orc Stain contains adult content and is intended for mature readers.