“North Bend” is a near-future crime story from indie writer/creator Ryan Ellsworth that establishes a world not too different from our own then descends into dark forces controlling things from behind the curtain.
Indie comic books, like all entertainment really, are hit or miss. Some books are fantastic and make you wonder why the creative team isn’t a household name yet. Other books, well, they get credit for the effort. “North Bend” is an indie book about a DEA agent who is brought in to work for the CIA on a special project that’s very much trying to control populations. That’s a lot of weight for one book to carry. So, does “North Bend” hit or miss? Read on, readers!
Writing: Ryan Ellsworth
Pencils/Inks: Rob Carey
Colors: Dee Cunniffe
Letters: Thomas Mauer
Editor: Steven Forbes
“Haven’t you heard? I’m crazy in the coconut.” – Brendan
Writer and creator Ryan Ellsworth is an indie writer who currently works on the crime/sci-fi anthology “Thought Experiment.” Ellsworth is a fan of true crime, and so his work delves into that sort of vibe. “North Bend” is no different, and while it might take place in an alternate near-future (that may not be all that far away), the essence of the story is centered around a murder.
Ellsworth crafts a methodical story here that carefully leads readers into this frighteningly-too-real future. I call it a sort of pre-apocalypse where everything looks normal and fine but is really a powderkeg waiting to go off. Russia and the US are enemies. A powerful drug is going around that’s killing people. And the CIA, plus potentially other powers that be are behind it. By the time the story ends, “North Bend” has set things up for an intense crime story that’s only just getting started.
Illustrator Rob Carey and colorist Dee Cunniffe combine powers here to create a beautiful book. The use of colors to establish moods is fantastic. The book begins in brightly colored spaces, a prison conference room and then a laboratory. Slowly but surely, the story delves deeper into the malicious nature of the crime we’re introduced to. AS the descent happens, so does the colorization, continually adding to the tone of a scene with just a simple wash of dark or light. “North Bend” is extremely easy on the eyes. The story has grit, and so does the art without becoming dull or muddled.
Get to the Kickstarter for North Bend and donate now. “North Bend” is a fantastic start to a science fiction-crime story. The world is filled in with little visual details that reveal its place in a not-so-distant future. The characters have a sense of dimension to them beyond being simple protagonists or antagonists. “North Bend” is only the tip of a great, big, storytelling iceberg. Start reading today and don’t miss out on what’s coming next.