The illustrations are modern, grey washed works of art that make black and white look great again! As I am not personally a big fan of the black and white genre, reading Think Tank has genuinely given me a new- found interest in it. So thank you Rahsan Ekedal for the insightful artistry. The light and dark tones along with subtle shading techniques really bring the comic to life. The precise attention to detail give the reader a very accurate sense of realism, which works hand in hand with the more comical factors, including the characters expressive body language and facial expressions. The thing that really caught my attention regarding the characters, was the beautifully drawn eyes, their tone and shade give the reader a deeper insight into each characters emotions, and more importantly their motives. Matt Hawkins research into the science of all things related to Think Tank is extensive. Matt has kindly outlined all of his workings in a 12 page report, titled “science class” at the end of the novel. What can I say, the man really does know his stuff, and he has clearly adapted his knowledge of the subject into the plot from all possible angles, giving us a complete and very enjoyable read.
We are also privileged to get an insight into the creators background in the introduction. I found this interesting to read as it describes, not only their professional relationship but the creators friendship, and how they came to work together on a science based comic in the first place, regardless of their entirely different belief systems. To put it bluntly, Hawkins and Ekedal were born to make comics… together. There is an undeniable fluency from start to finish. With a combination of the engaging and cleverly written plotlines, and the insightful and realistic artistry throughout, this resulted in such a smooth read, that I was unable to put it down! The star of the novel Dr David Loren phd, is very likeable, despite his cockiness and awareness of his own intelligence, he has a great purpose within the story, and is very witty, making it all the more fun to read.
I have to refer back to the novels realistic attention to detail as this element really does bring the story to life, helping it to play out like a true sci fi / adventure story. From the slick technology and all of its intricate components, right down to Rosa’s cleaning trolley.in the clinical halls of “Cal-tech”.
Which brings us to the purpose built and created world in which our story is set. What caught my eye was the immediate reference to a blatant disregard for authority. Dr David Loren’s lab plaque is defaced with the word “ass” among other details in the drawings that tell us that our main character is a typical rebellious student type. This reflects in his extremely messy lab / dorm room, where he describes himself in well placed captions, as an inventor, genius and slacker. The art work really does give us a great indication of place and time, not only within Cal-tech itself but outside of its cold prison like boundaries aswell, to the open space of the golf course in the chase sequence and the detail in the trees and other surroundings. In 2 words, Think Tank is “beautifully-drawn”.
The layout of the captions, dialogue balloons, panels and artwork have been executed very thoughtfully, and the abstract edge to the panels give the graphics a very modern look and feel which relates well to the storyline. The comics timing, humour and alternating sequences flow together nicely to give the reader an exciting and smooth journey into the world of “Think Tank”. I ‘m sure you will enjoy it as much as I have! And I look forward to reading more in the series, to discover where the think tank will take us next…
By Dylan “MONTU” Butcher.
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