Zinnober #1

Story: Thorsten Brochhaus, Ralf Singh
Penciler: Ralf Singh
Inker: Christian Docolomansky Cerda
Colorist: Ilaria Fella
Letterer: Taylor Esposito

Review by Jim Allegro

You are on your own in the world of Zinnober #1.  The post-apocalyptic society of this self-published comic is stark, as humans turn on each other to survive the fire-breathing dragons that stalk London’s streets.  The story focuses on Claire, who hunts dragons with James, an ex-Marine who befriended her after she lost her parents.  Along the way, they square off against mercenary dragon hunters, cults of dragon-worshipers, and a shrouded sinister figure.

Zinnober #1 is a professional grade comic with eye-catching art and well-defined characters.  Ralf Singh and Christian Docolomansky Cerda do a wonderful job showing us the taut facial expressions and kinetic movement of a world under siege.  Ilaria Fella’s colors have the right amount of drab grays and browns to remind readers that the end times are near, but not so much that a shock of red cannot jolt us into battle with dragons.  The comic’s title confirms the role of red as a sign for danger, as zinnober is German for vermilion, or dragon’s blood.  Finally, the brisk paneling compensates for a narrative that is a bit over-burdened with dialogue.  Thorsten Brochhaus and Singh do not apply the less-is-more approach that succeeds with post-apocalyptic comics such as The Realm.

I am sure they will get the hang of it.  Because, I suspect, this is a fantasy comic book with a great deal of potential.  What makes me look forward to the next issue of this indie comic is the glimmer of hope lying beneath the surface of the fear and dread that drives these lonely characters.  The real story here is Claire’s halting attempt to get over the loss of her parents and build a new surrogate family.  She confesses that the elder James is a father figure of sorts. She and James allow into their circle a young scientist with no fighting skills, and the three risk their lives to protect a stray dog.

Verdict:  Buy it.

Zinnober #1 is not a perfect comic, but, on the whole, I enjoyed it thoroughly, and I rate it a BUY.

Jim Allegro

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