Drawing Blood: Spilled Ink

Image Comics. Oct. 2024. 176p. ISBN 9781534371675. pap. $16.99. THRILLER
Decades ago, Shane Bookman achieved success beyond his wildest dreams when the Radically Rearranged Ronin Ragdolls, a comic book series he cocreated and self-published, became a worldwide phenomenon. Today, the characters remain popular and prevalent in the culture, with films, television series, comic books, and metric tons of merchandise raking in billions of dollars each year—none of which profits Bookman. Nope, he sold off his stake in the property long ago, in order to finance hedonistic hijinks and further publishing ventures, which only attracted attention for failing disastrously. Now in his forties, Bookman finds himself financially ruined, divorced, devoid of inspiration, and reliant upon a steadily escalating quantity of drugs to escape reality. When the unexpected death of a former collaborator forces him to take stock of how far he’s fallen, Bookman is compelled to drastic action in order to turn his life around; a difficult task to begin with, which becomes even more so after a chance encounter with vicious mobsters finds him targeted for death.
VERDICT Semi-autobiographical elements offering insight into Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cocreator Eastman prove fascinating enough to just barely make up for the insertion of a relatively cliché thriller subplot.
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