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– by Tim Jousma

Corktown issue #2 from Alterna Comics, available today wherever you buy comics, continues the story of Torrie, a dead Detroit cop who is doing her best to stop the creature that killed her. It details her struggles in getting the attention of anyone in the land of the living to solve the crime.

Overall, this, and the first issue, were quite well done. Sometimes the little things in a story are what endear you to it. With the story being set in my home state of Michigan, right from the start it had my attention and it didn’t disappoint. There were two minor little details that were tossed in which were brilliant, making me feel like I was back at home. The firsthappened in issue 1 when two cops were talking about the Detroit Lions. The blind optimism they shared for the team is something I’ve felt when talking about them with other fans back when I lived in Michigan. Along the same lines as Chicago Cubs fans, Detroit Lions fans, after teams that have lost for so long, have this ability to take the slightest bit of hope that the team will finally turn its fortunes around and become the powerhouse it should be and turn it into pure delusions that somehow the team will be comparable with the Patriots or the Packers. The conversation the two cops in the story had really brought me back home. This is how Lions fans talk.

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Secondly, in issue 2, Torrie’s partner Williams, who’s still alive, is trying his best to solve the case but due to depression, he’s turned to drink. Williams new partner takes him home and opens a fridge to find him something to drink. In the fridge is a Faygo. Why is that important? Faygo is a regional soft drink maker that’s based in Michigan. They make horrible soda but when money is tight, it’s better than nothing. Honestly, any drink approved by the Insane Clown Posse is a drink that’s generally easy to avoid. But one, it’s Michigan. You can find that pop anywhere. Secondly, it shows that Williams, since Torrie’s death, is going through some hard times. Again, it’s a little touch but as a native Michigander, those little touches helped bring me into the world of Corktown much quicker.

One issue I had with the story was that in issue 1, it was established that Torrie had the ability to essentially take over the body of a living person. She leapt into someone’s body to kill an undead creature that would have led to more of them springing up in Detroit. The creatures themselves are vampire, zombie hybrids. With that established, it was surprising that in issue two, she’s frustrated that she can’t get her former partner to hear her so she could give him information to solve the case. If she has the ability to leap into people’s bodies, why couldn’t she leap into her partner’s body and write everything she knows down on paper? Even if he thought he was crazy, the writer could have easily had Williams chalk it up to alcoholic delusions. He could have just as easily decided that he had a moment of clarity when he was drunk that he could not remember and roll with it. Or have Torrie leap into another body and talk to her partner. Something would have been nice since they established she has the ability to do this. Establishing something like this and than next issue forgetting it exists is sloppy.

Another issue I have has to do with either the script or the letterer in the story. There were a couple instances where the dialogue was either written bad or the letterer wrote down the correct dialogue wrong. Whatever the case, I had to re-read a couple passages to make sure I didn’t make some sort of mistake. Editing can be a pain in the ass. I look back on my book, Time to Play the Game (which is available on Smashwords, iBooks, Amazon, and other fine retailers) and I see numerous mistakes that I didn’t catch. It happens to the best of us. The problem comes with, the more mistakes the editing process doesn’t catch, the more unprofessional the work in question appears. It was only a couple instances mind you but I would advise them to give the editing process a few more tries before the next issue comes out to make sure everything is caught.

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  Overall, you will enjoy Corktown #2. It’s a great story that pays real close attention to the little things that make stories great. If the writer is not from Michigan, I would applaud his work on the little details more because the Lions talk along with the Faygo cameo are pure Michigan. The art work as well is pretty damn good. The black and white work gives it a noir feel which adds to the tone of the story. So I strongly encourage you to check it out. You can find it on Comixology or your fine local comic book retailer. And if they don’t carry Alterna Comics, make them!

  One more thing, head over to Alterna Comics Etsy page and check out some of their other work. If something interests you and you decide to make a purchase, use the promo code TJ2016 and get 5% off your order. You will thank me later.

Writer: Mario Candelaria

Artist: Scott Ewen

Letterer: Zakk Saam