The ’80s was a glorious time to be alive! Comic bookstores were everywhere, and they were the second place my little butt would hang out, the first being Aladdin’s Castle arcade. I remember collecting aluminum cans and selling waterlogged golf balls to buy my comics and play arcade games. But I fell out of the comic scene somewhere in the mid-’90s. So when I happened to see a new unknown character popping up in my Twitter feed, I was intrigued. Isom Ill-Advised Part 1 is the debut title from Rippaverse Publishing, Eric July, Cliff Richards, and Gabe Eltaeb.
My reasons for leaving comics behind had more to do with growing up, having kids, and everything that comes with it. This current political and cultural upheaval was not in existence back in the ’80s and ’90s. I am well aware of the cultural war surrounding Isom Ill-Advised Part 1, but I choose not to participate in the silly Twitter wars and name-calling.
I based my review on the content and quality of this comic and nothing more. I purchased two copies of Isom Ill-Advised Part 1, the one that came first is the Cover C variant, and that is what I am reviewing. My Cover B variant should be coming at a later date. I have no affiliation or connection to Rippaverse Publishing besides my two purchases from them. Because Isom Ill-Advised Part 1 is a brand new book from a new publisher, this review will be slightly different from our previous comic reviews. Let’s crack the book open! THERE WILL BE NO SPOILERS.
Table of contents
I’m going to start this section off with my only complaint. The mylar bag that my Isom Ill-Advised Part 1 came in was already splitting at the top. It only worsened when removing the book, and I’m sure it will eventually continue. I started with this because it’s not a deal breaker for me, I can get mylar bags all day long, but some may not appreciate this for the book’s price.
More importantly, the packaging that the book came in via the United States Postal Service was fantastic! I have never seen a comic book shipped and packaged so well. It was encased in a solid protective cardboard cover and nestled inside a slot. The backing board was okay, not the thickest I’ve seen but also not wafer thin. It was good enough.
Overall, I may have just gotten a defective mylar bag, which isn’t a huge deal to me. I only point it out because others may care about such a thing. The rest of the packaging and protection was excellent beyond anything I’ve ever seen.
Quality and Feel
The quality of this book is excellent. It is on top of the pile with similar books from major publishers and even exceeds some similar books I’ve held. The ink and paper feel heavy and not like wafer-like paper like some big publishers seem to have been using.
The book feels nice in hand, but the matte finish of the front and back cover gives me some concern about fingerprints. I’d say to be sure your hands are clean and not greasy when you handle the book.
I did see some Tweets today about cracking on the spine of some copies. I have not seen that on my copy of Isom Ill-Advised Part 1. But I am also a careful reader of my comic books. With books like this, I never fully open them to flat. You can expect that any comic book of this style will eventually end up with a visible seam where the pages meet the spine. I don’t think this is a problem, but some may.
Overall, the quality of this book is excellent. I have my worries about the matte finish covers but taking care not to stick your meat sticks into a bag of chips and then handling the book is probably a good idea. Wash your damn hands!
I’d say that half of what makes a good comic book is the artwork, and the artwork inside of Isom Ill-Advised Part 1 is fabulous! The artwork is high-level work that could easily be in any of the big publishing houses at any time.
The pencils and inks are amazing, and I love the style Cliff Richards and Gabe Eltaeb created in this book. It’s clean yet vibrant and realistic. Bodies are normal and not exaggerated with crazy muscles or abnormally large breasts.
Overall, the artwork and coloring are hands down on par with Marvel, DC, or Image without question.
Isom is the brainchild of Eric July, and he is also the lead story writer here. I felt July did a great job setting up the main character and supporting characters. He also did an excellent job setting up the world and individual backstories. There is obviously still a lot to create as this character and his world is brand new.
I felt that the story was an easy read, which was an excellent way to ease people into the book and character. If July had over-written the first book, he could have easily given too much information that could have easily convoluted the storyline and made things complicated.
So I appreciated the easy read and ease into the world. The visuals also told some of the story and filled in some of the gaps. As the series progresses, I hope the storytelling evolves into a more challenging read.
Overall, Isom Ill-Advised Part 1 is an easy reading book. This might not be everyone’s preference, and I’d like to see the storytelling evolve, but I like the choice to take it slow and allow us to take in the landscape and characters.
Isom Ill-Advised Part 1 Gallery
The price of Isom Ill-Advised Part 1 was a huge sore point for many Twitter warriors. I admit this is the most I’ve paid for this comic book style. I have spent more on hardcover graphic novels. US$35 is a pretty penny for a comic like this, but we must keep a few things in mind.
Rippaverse Publishing is a small independent operation that does not have large printing deals with significant printing companies. From my understanding, they also use premium paper and ink and print in the USA.
So with these things in mind and being an independent media company ourselves, I know that operations can be costlier for independents. If Rippaverse plays their cards right, they can bring prices down a bit as they can make printing deals that lower their overhead.
The value here is that purchasing these first comics is an investment into Rippaverse, and once they get moving at a good pace, prices will ease up. Hopefully.
I have no regrets about investing in Isom and Rippaverse Publishing. I feel I got my money’s worth from this first issue knowing that it was costlier due to the independent status of the publisher. Isom Ill-Advised Part 1 was a solid first effort from an unknown publisher and writer. The book is immensely helped by the artwork of Cliff Richards, who has done work for Dark Horse Comics, Marvel Comics, and DC Comics, as well as the coloring of Gabe Eltaeb.
I am looking forward to seeing what comes out of the Rippaverse next.
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Isom Ill-Advised Part 1US$35
- Top notch delivery packaging
- The quality of the paper and ink is premium
- The artwork is smoking! Love every bit of it!
- The story was good and it was an easy read Eric did good in setting up the character and world
- While it is pricey, I give grace knowing this was produced with private funds and made in the USA. I was willing to pay the price for that.
- My mylar bag came with a split starting at the top
- The cover material has a matte finish to it, I can see it picking up fingerprints and dirt if you're not careful
- It is pricey for a comic book
- I would like to see the writing evolve and challenge the reader. I believe it will.