Published on April 4th, 2020 | by Sandro Falce
Coffin Bound Volume 1 Review
Summary: Packed with breathtaking art and intriguing concepts, Coffin Bound proves itself to be one of the more unique books currently out.
Coffin Bound is the latest Image release from author Dan Watters, the writer of the most recent Lucifer run. It’s a rather strange affair, taking you through a desert world full of odd characters and violent, bloodsoaked encounters.
We’re introduced to this world through Izzy Tyburn. When she discovers that she’s being hunted down by the vicious Eartheater, she sets off on a roadtrip to erase all signs of her existence. Why? “Because if the world will not have me in it, it cannot have me at all.”
It’s an interesting concept brimming with potential, which is the perfect way to describe this book. At times it feels like the concepts are the main star of the show, with the plot and characters taking a backseat. This could be because the story itself is rather simple, yet almost abstract, which can lead to it feeling quite messy at points, particularly in the final issue. However, there are so many concepts packed into this title that many may not notice these story-based issues.
Another fun concept comes in the form of Izzy’s roadtrip pal, a body with a skeletal vulture head in a cage. This character offers many comedic moments as well as questions that leave the lead character and us, the reader, with something to think about. There’s also a few sequences in a strip club, owned by poet Paulie Starlight, where we see the dancers not only remove their clothes… but remove their own skin as well.
The art by DaNi (2000AD, Dirk Gently) is a big highlight for me. Characters are drawn in a way that’s quite rough yet expressive. You can tell how everyone is feeling in every panel, the emotion is expressed rather well. As you can probably imagine, there’s a lot of gory moments in the book, and these are portrayed with finesse. They’re disgustingly beautiful. Like the moments in the club, you also get a sense of movement inbetween panels, which is very impressive.
There are moments where it’s hard to tell what tone the authors are going for. There’s comedic moments sprinkled throughout the book, one highlight being the many phone-calls with Izzy’s manager, however there are also moments where the dialogue undercuts quite serious sequences. This isn’t a critique, just something that took me out of the book at times and may do the same for other readers.
On the topic of the dialogue, the way characters speak in this book is quite fun. Everyone is very “proper”. It’s also borderline poetic, which makes sense seeing as a poet seems to be a very powerful figure in this society. Because of this, the dialogue flows quite well and it’s easy to get swept up in it as you move from panel to panel to keep that rhythm going.
Overall, Coffin Bound is a fun ride that’s sure to entertain. It’s full of incredible art and fun characters, yet I wish there had been a slightly more involved story. They’ve definitely pulled me in though. When the next volume drops, you bet I’ll be there to rejoin Izzy and the crew and see what happens next, even if it is to just get some more intriguing concepts out of this strange world.