Crowdfunding Spotlight and Preview: Cognition Issue One by Ken Reynolds & Sam Bentley

Cognition Issue One - Cover

Script and Letters by Ken Reynolds
Art by Sam Bentley
Edited by David Hailwood
Pin ups by Rory Donald, Tom Mortimer, Dan ‘Guns’ Butcher, Andrew Pawley, Dan Harris and others to be confirmed for final print date.

American Comics format – Black and White interiors

The Story: The shadowy organisation the British Occult Secret Service (B.O.S.S.) are assigned to investigate the death of Edward Pindergist. ‘Cal’, the robot of restricted growth inhabited by the spirit of a dead man, ‘Sigma’ a rat who seemingly has much to hide and Hattie, a quiet yet beautiful sorceress, arrive at the Pindergist home where they meet Edward’s brother William. He explains to them the tragic death of his brother’s wife and how after that Edward went off the rails, drinking, gambling and investigating the occult. This turned into a murderous rampage.

What secrets does the house hold? Who or what will the team discover is behind this mystical family murder? There are also secrets yet to be discovered within the B.O.S.S. team themselves…

Cognition  Issue One - Opening Panel

The Preview: After the success of Issue #0, I was really pleased that Ken Reynolds not only got stuck into the first issue but it so quickly passed its pledge goal on Kickstarter (and then some!)

This is, at its heart, a well crafted and atmospheric mystical detective story. Add into that the involvement of characters who are not what they seem and some steam punk panache and you’ve got the first full issue of a great new series.

The gorgeous cover perfectly invites you into a fractured and frightening story full of regret and sorrow. In each shard of glass, the cover shows the reader story beats, haunting images and its fangs (in more ways than one). Fangs emerge from darkness, but are still shrouded in the mystery that this book captures so well.

I hate to use some an obvious comparison, but this has 1960s and 1970s Hammer Horror written all over its pages. If Cognition was a movie, this would be a cult classic. It plays on tension, melodrama and period really nicely, but adds that extra layer of snarky yet creepy dialogue between the central characters and their prey. Ken Reynolds handles the character interaction with real style. Never overdoing either the humour or the horror elements, you can hear the voice specifically to each person (or creature) that he writes.

I won’t spoil the ending but in the traditions of all good horror we see the team solve one problem but open a big old can of worms about another possibly very difficult situation in the future….

Cognition Issue One Panel Three

With art defined by heavy inks and shadow, the story takes place almost entirely in street lamp and candle lit night-time and Sam Bentley lays character, shape, silhouette and mood in equal measure, There are some great set pieces: my favourite which I will leave for you to read is the march up the stairs in an early scene in the story. You see the participants explore the haunted house scenario and discuss the problem at hand. Explanation never seems redundant and the art conveys real tension.

If I had one minor gripe it would be that at times the art seems a tiny bit too photo referenced, but this didn’t really pull me away from the action.

Cognition Issue One Panel Four

This is really turning into one of my favourite UK indie titles and Ken is a guy that you can depend upon for a polished final product and some great out of left field ideas.

Now when is Dark Horse Comics going to come to their senses and pick this series up!?

As I write, the funding campaign for Issue One still has another fourteen days to go on Kickstarter. So pop over to the page and pledge away here!

Worthy of note is also the extensive pin-up section in the back of the issue. All, to an artist, really imaginative and stylish reworkings of the ideas and themes of Cognition.

Here is a beauty from rising star Rory Donald.

Cognition Issue One Pin Up by Rory Donald

Many thanks for reading.

Categories: British Comics, Crowd Funding Projects, downthetubes Comics News, downthetubes News, Reviews

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