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Ink, Max – Blink: So It Goes #1 – Wonka Wonka Kochalka


Blink: So It Goes #1 – Wonka Wonka Kochalka

Huzzah for a master plan! It seems like there have been very few epics in the small press world since Cerebus ended (or at least epics that actually came to fruition), but Max is planning 13 chapters to finish this story, ending up at some point in 2016. One suggestion/quibble before I get started on the book itself: why not list projected publication dates for the chapters? Sure, there are almost certainly going to be various problems along the way that prevent it from going exactly as planned, but maybe it would be useful as a motivational tool? Eh, with the way Max has been going over the years, he probably doesn’t need the additional motivation. Anyway, this graphic novel is called “So It Goes” and this volume is called “Wonka Wonka Kochalka,” as Max admirably makes clear in his introduction. This volume is all about Blink, Sam, Hank and their group of friends, many of whom are introduced here (unless I missed them in a mini comic appearance). Hank plays some songs, the gang wanders around to different bars chatting about various topics, and I’m on the verge of making this sound incredibly boring, which it’s not. But it’s also most likely not going to be action packed, so you should get that out of your heads early on. Instead it’s just natural conversations, happening among people who might not otherwise interact (Sam especially does not suffer fools gladly), and it’s wildly entertaining. There’s not a whole lot more to say about the story, frankly, as this is very early days of this series. If you’ve liked previous Blink stories (like the many mini comics floating around or the first collection of his work), then you’ll be happy to know that Max has stepped it up yet another notch this time around. If you’ve never seen his work, well, this seems like a good investment to me. It’s rare that I’d be more surprised if an artist DIDN’T finish his proposed epic, but I have full faith that Max will manage to pull it off. But there’s more to this comic than just the comic itself. The comic is 32 pages (which doesn’t technically qualify as a “graphic novel,” but calling it a “chapter” is awkward as hell) and there are another 24 pages of extra material. When I first flipped through the book I noticed this and was instantly wary, as it looked like padding to jack up the price on this book. Then I flipped the book over and saw that it was a relatively measly $7, so that clearly wasn’t the reason for all the extra material. First off, he’s doing a letters column, something that has been sadly lacking in comics lately, and he’s already gotten some interesting material to work with. Then there’s a few sketchbook pages (with promises of much more at his website if you’re interested), a listing of the folks who donated to the Kickstarter campaign that essentially got this comic published, a story about his art gallery showing, a story about Max from a local paper and a listing of all of the future chapters. And there’s arguably the most important part of the book: his descriptions of various places that you see and various things that people are talking about. I like to think that everybody knows Joss Whedon by now, but Max sprinkles bits of Columbus throughout his stories and he takes a minute here to explain these places. It’s been said by other reviewers, but his comics just feel like Columbus, mostly because of all the local landmarks. Which is what makes his use of things like SPICE (for the annual small press convention) instead of SPACE a little jarring, as you’d think he’d go one way or another with that sort of thing. Hey look, I found a complaint! Anyway, you people should buy this book to make sure he stays nice and motivated in this endeavor. I doubt very much that you’ll be disappointed when it’s all over… $7