Advance Review: Theatrics Volume 2

Coming soon on Kickstarter, the long-awaited conclusion to the excellent Theatrics is from TPub Comics.

Never before has a comic brought me so much tension. After what seems like a lifetime ago, I was lucky enough to receive the first volume of Theatrics from TPub.
After that ending, I felt something, a longing to hear how this story concluded. The first volume was a story unlike something I had ever read, and I consumed it voraciously.

The story of Theatrics 2 continues to follow famed 1920’s Broadway actor Rudy Burns, who received the beatdown of a lifetime on one fateful night which changed his path forever. The once incredibly handsome actor now has the face of a homunculus that got trampled by a horse. Put in simpler terms, his face got completely fucked up. After he lost his looks, his job, his money and his girl, any sensible person would have tried to piece the shreds of their life back together again and attempt to live a normal life… but Rudy was far too theatrical for that.

Writer – Neil Gibson
Artists – Jan Wijngaard, Leonardo Gonzalez
Letters – Jim Campbell

Then an emptiness. The conclusion of this story was on my mind.

I would speak to the team at TPub – assured that a new volume would be on its way, and Neil himself assured me it was coming.

Then, out of the blue I had solid news.

Volume 2 is coming to Kickstarter.

On top of that, my persistence had been answered with an advance review – this is what I am sharing with you now.

When we left our cast, Rudy, the actor had been beaten and broken. No longer the leading man he had to find something to keep him going. A good old friend has a plan – Sam taking on the role of manager of a boxer, Rudy as ‘the count’.

Instead, Rudy Burns enters the brutal world of high stakes boxing under the guise of a persona he creates; the mysterious pugilist named “The Mad Count”. With a viciously defining right hook and the ability to get in the head of his opponents, Rudy quickly manages to turn the tables back in his favour and return to the limelight.

Volume 2 ups the stakes. We get a closer look at Rudy as he accepts what has happened to him and where he wants to go next. The return of Stephanie further complicates matters. There is the champion boxer, who has discovered the ruse and is determined to show the world in the ring.

Then there is Sam. His role in this reminds me of some of the best heel managers in pro wrestling. On the outside, we can tell that his motives are not pure. Sam, at first, seems a flat out manipulator, but as this second volume progresses we see new layers.

Stephanie’s return adds an interesting dynamic to the story. She acts as a catalyst for what is to come, and here reactions are something very interesting indeed.

Theatrics volume two brings us so many highs and lows. It is a story fitting of its title, there is so much to take in with amazing storytelling and evil twists from the pen of Neil Gibson. The characters all have time to shine and there are some amazing pieces of dialogue. The right with the champion was something to behold.

That leads me to the art nicely. The boxing scenes are free raw and visceral. Showing not only the violence but the emotion of the fighters. Not only acting as a highlight reel of the fights, but the art also shows it down and dirty. Leo combines these fights with the glam and lights of the 1920s with drinking, dancing and of course violence. The final pages pull the emotion from the writing and provide tenderness, rage and sorrow.

Theatrics is a story about the show, but here it shows us behind the curtain. It shows us the emotions that go behind the show. There is a darkness in the heart of this story and it comes from unexpected places. The emotions of the characters take you to places and make you want to keep turning the pages.

The character work from Neil, combined with the art of Leo brings you a conclusion that will burn into your mind and make you want to pick it up time and again.

Get in early and be notified for when the project goes live. Theatrics Volume 2 goes live on 29th June 2021. You can get notified/back it here.

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