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"Tart #10" Comic Review

Written by James Ferguson

Published by Kechal Comics


Written by Kevin Joseph
Illustrated by Ludovic Salle
Lettered by DC Hopkins
2020, 32 Pages


We've seen Tart Acid and the other warriors fight a never-ending battle against Hell itself across space and time, but we didn't know how this all started. At long last, Tart #10 reveals the origins of the Toxic Universe. This is a little late in the game to go back to the beginning, but I've been clamoring for this for some time, so it's refreshing to dig into it.

The story is presented as a lesson of sorts, with Tart speaking to some new recruits to give them the lay of the land. I joke sometimes that exposition like this can come across as a history lesson and that is literally the case here, yet it is just as riveting as the rest of the tale. Writer Kevin Joseph pulls you in with this incredible story of good and evil with family at the root of it all. I feel an influence of Neil Gaiman's Sandman in here with its size and scope, playing up the supernatural fantasy of it all.

I do wonder how this would have played had it come earlier in the series, however it does serve a purpose coming in here at issue #10, as there are some newcomers that have popped up in recent issues. I get the feeling that Joseph has really found his footing and is preparing to launch into Tart's next big phase.

Artist Ludovic Salle has always impressed with his work and Tart #10 is no different. We're shown a few different locales, including Hell itself, which comes alive in a fearsome red. You've heard the phrase “rose-colored glasses” to describe an optimistic viewpoint? Well, this is like blood-colored glasses, showing everything through a painful and tormented perspective.

Salle's layouts are like a moving tapestry, as if we're viewing this through a puddle with each new image coming in as a ripple spreading out. This is a key part to how the history lesson grabs you from the jump.

While this flashback is enthralling, we're always reminded of who is telling the story thanks to letterer DC Hopkins. Tart's caption boxes have a little cupcake on them to designate her speech, keeping us in the present while spinning this yarn in the past. This is a subtle yet personal move that works well.

I've enjoyed Tart's adventures up until this point and this issue gives them new meaning. It elevates everything that's come before it. This layered storytelling lends itself to multiple readings, as we can now experience each chapter with a new set of eyes. The fact that time travel is in the mix also adds to that. It will be interesting to see how Tart's story will play out if seen in a linear fashion.

The creators of Tart are currently running a Kickstarter campaign to fund the release of issue #10.


Story: fourstars Cover
Art: fourstars
Overall: 4 Star Rating

About The Author
James Ferguson
Lord of the Funny Books
James has a 2nd grade reading level and, as a result, only reads books with pictures. Horror is his 5th favorite genre right after romantic comedy and just before silent films. No one knows why he's here, but he won't leave.
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