Courting Doom: A Spotlight on James Stokoe
I discovered James Stokoe off of the racks at the comic shop. I went in to just look around and there it was, glaring at me off the shelves, ORC STAIN #1. There was immediately something very Bode about it so I picked it up and knew I was going to buy it within the first couple of pages. Sprawling, truly cinematic storytelling, anarchic underground flair to the art, full frontal nudity and fantasy violence, it packed in so many subversively familiar things while still looking utterly unique. I took it home, read it, and was fully hooked
So I did a little digging and was pleased to find that the dude seems to be a complete maniac! First, I found this (scroll down for his art, you can’t miss it) , It’s a post on a Warren Ellis site by Brandon Graham (another total killer!) featuring some work from Stokoe that can’t be published because it features copyrighted characters (Godzilla, Rogue Trooper, Silver Surfer and Galactus) that he apparently did as a goof. Luckily someone at Marvel hired him to do a story in the Strange Tales II anthology.
And now he’s recently started up a new blog ORC STAIN/Viva La Gronch! where he has, and I shit you not, released 100 pages of a series he started and had sitting around on his hard drive(Murder Bullets) as well as a bunch of other pages and story fragments. Apparently he did a series for ONI as well called Wonton Soup that I haven’t read yet and I’m still not caught up with my Orc Stain issues also but I’m on the look for anything this guy does now. One thing I’m really encouraged to see these days is a wealth of creators who aren’t of the reclusive social misfit sort but instead people actively engaged with life and the world at large. Science indeed!
The first five issues of Orc Stain have just been collected into an inexpensive trade and you can read a short interview with him about that here