This collection of indy comics is perhaps the most obscure piece in my collection. I came across this book at one of my favorite places to stop when I visit Asheville, NC- Zapow Gallery. At Zapow, up and coming artists that specialize in pop culture, comics, and sequential art are given a chance to shine. It's like an art gallery for geeks and nerds! I love that place and I love this book!
Heroes of Sinclair is written and illustrated by North Carolina native Gregory Dickens. A self-proclaimed lifelong scribbler, Dickens has currently released 6 comics under the indy imprint Robot Wonderboy. But these aren't comics you can buy just anywhere. You either have to go to Asheville's epic comic shop Comic Envy, my beloved Zapow, or catch Gregory in person at cons in Western North Carolina or South Carolina. (You can also check out his online shop at his website!)
So just what is Heroes of Sinclair?
Well, Sinclair is a fictional American town that isn't quite as big as your LA or New York City, but still has a need for superhero protection. Enter Spire, a sort of 911 operated by heroes. Their newest recruits are Focus, a hero with super strength and the ability to go intangible and Emma, an android Mixed Martial Arts champ who sees each foe as a challenge for her title belt. Then there's the non-super powered hero Sue Tonium, a former employee of Spire who becomes a roller derby star and a legend in her own right. Also assisting Spire are the members of the Jr. Spire program such as Armory, a young lad with a magical prosthetic arm and Parkour, a lad with boundless energy.
It took a couple of chapters for this book to really connect with me. But once it did, things certainly got rolling. The art is a little rough and in black and white. But it's the Dickens' creativity that makes this such a fun read. Along with the unique swath of heroes and characters, Dickens wrote some compelling stuff. His origins of both Emma and Sue are worth the cover price alone.
This book carries a publication date of 2014. To my chagrin, it doesn't appear that any new Sinclair books have been issued unless I missed something on Dickens' webpage. This book ends with a tagline of 'To Be Continued' and that normally would tick me off. But the story that boasts this promise has a satisfying ending- only I didn't want this book to end!
Hopefully, Gregory Dickens has some new works coming out soon. But I'm not holding my breath on that hope! I understand that self-publishing isn't cheap. But maybe my word-of-mouth will inspire you, my dear readers, to give this book a shot! And then some new Sinclair stories will see the light of day...
Rating: 9 out of 10 stars.