Indie comic reviews, REVIEW: Macchiato!, The Indie Comix Dispatch

Book Title: Macchiato!

Book Description: Let’s talk story. Macchiato follows our main protagonist Leon after a tragic yet unknown happening that’s left him injured, on medical leave from his position as a detective at the local police department and worst of all missing loved ones who’ve passed on. And while Leon does his best to put on a bright face, the recentness of the events has left Leon hurting and even more concerning emotionally unstable. Through all of this, Leon tries to regain any semblance of normalcy by going back to work, but the chief of his department isn’t too keen on having arguably their detective go back to protecting the streets and defending the public. Not wanting Leon to hurt himself but also providing him the outlet he clearly needed, the chief granted Leon his request to go back to work only under the condition he partnered up with a family man of detective, Detective Brill, which Leon wasn’t too thrilled with. After a near life of death instance with a petty thief and a heated conversation with Brill, definitely outlined the unstable mentality of Leon. And from this moment, Leon spirals until suddenly he is faced with a rather unusual situation, forcing him and 4 other individuals into the fight of their life.

Book Author: H. Anthony

Book Format: Paperback

Publisher - Orgnization: Macchiato Studios

Publisher Logo:

Illustrator: Roland Broussard

  • Story
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  • Interior Art
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  • Cover Art
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  • Dialogue
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  • Mechanics
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  • Editing
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3.5
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Summary

When you’re someone who reads as much manga and comics as myself, I am always looking for the next story to dig into. But often, I get nostalgic for the golden years of manga and comics– give me the kabooms and slams, mechs and superheroes that only the 90’s can provide. I say that to say, the comic Macchiato by H. Anthony is the read that gave me the nostalgia rush I’ve been looking for. Macchiato provides the reader a captivating story and does so with rather amazing delivery.  From its vibrant and colorful art, easy to follow dialog and over all straightforward delivery,  I’d like to say for the 90’s kids hooked on toonami and nickelodeon it’s a well rounded addition to add to your reading list.

Reviewing the Story

Macchiato’s story is one that is instantly captivating and easy to follow which I find to be amazing for a new story. Though not mentioned in the synopsis, the story starts out with an amazing stylized story overview that hypes you up for the story moving forward. The easy to follow dialog and good pacing takes you from plot point to plot point without ever making you feel like you need to re-read. My favorite thing about this comic is that the story feels familiar especially when paired with the art.

In addition to the story structure, the content of the tale is just good. The characters feel like kin to others you have seen before, which in other situations would be a detracter, but in the case of Macchiato, it helps to create that straightforward story set up. In addition, Anthony also did a terrific job of those familiar characters and adding depth to them. The best display of this work is with the main protagonist, Leon. Leon definitely gives off classic main anime character vibes which plays well into that nostalgia factor I mentioned, but as the story progresses and we get to the end of the My Lucky Day chapter, we realize that Leon is way more complex, rounded and human than what it seems on the surface.

Finally in regards to the story, I really couldn’t provide a proper review without highlighting the absolutely fantastic prologue you get to read. When it comes to setting the stage for the story ahead, it really is a job well done. I thoroughly enjoyed the explosive opening; how it introduces all of the characters, the basic premise of the overall story and the interesting abilities each of the main characters possess. It’s a very impactful and captivating way to open the story, instantly engaging the reader and making you go, “Now this is a good book,”! Well, at least that’s what I shouted anyway.

Reviewing the Art

Let’s get into this art! Macchiato’s art is what gives the nostalgic kick that you’ve been missing. In the art, I was able to see bits of a lot of different things, like how the characters fighting uniforms read Power Rangers or Super Sentai and the character design gives late 90’s early 2010’s anime, but the page formatting and the flow of the art translate to traditional western comics. This kind of meld of srt style and comic paneling is the shot of dopamine I needed when reading this comic and makes for a very fun read.

I enjoyed the amount of character diversity displayed in Macchiato. The characters have different hair textures, body types and skin tones which is what I specifically look for when trying out a new comic. I find it refreshing that there was so much diverse representation right when you start the first page of the prologue and into the first issue. And speaking of the first issue, the internal cover featured in volume 1 was immaculate. The color and staging of this image is really well polished and you get to see all of the characters up close and personal. The whole prologue was an amazing display of the artist’s skill and a great kick starter for the series ahead. The art moving into the My Lucky Daychapter still delivers that same energy.

What I would say I enjoyed most from the art amongst the other highlights would be the action scenes. Broussard really did his thing when capturing each and every punch thrown, energy blast and shock wave that appears on the page. It’s also through his fight scenes that you see the anime influence in its fullness. My personal favorite display of Broussard’s action scene would be cut from the prologue.

Again, I cannot speak highly enough about the prologue. I don’t say this lightly when I say, the Galactic Revolver alone cemented this comic for me. It is a powerful page of art. The color, the explosiveness, the build up from the previous page all come to a head in this final powerful move. But that definitely doesn’t negate the spectacle of the other action panels either. One of my other favorite pages of art comes from the very end of the My Lucky Day chapter when Leon realizes that he has taken things too far and is frightened of the consequences of his actions. When “Murderer” is scratched around each of the panels, when Leon’s thoughts are no longer in text bubbles, they are just scratchy frighted red letters– it was this intense scene that had me hooked and loving every bit of Broussard art.

Final thoughts

If you have been looking for a book that bridges your love of anime with comics in a very nostalgic way, I think Macchiato is for you. And if you’re not here for the nostalgia dopamine, the art, story and diverse characters will definitely hook you. It’s rare that I find a book that really enjoyed from 1st page; that captivated me from it’s opening line, ​​​“It’s funny how much can change in no time at all…”

This book is well executed, fleshed out story with captivating characters, great art and good storytelling mechanics and see the audience for this comic growing and the love for this comic going far. While Macchiato has room to grow and the story is definitely just getting started, what a start it has! Macchiato is action, fun and steller from page to page and a good addition to add to your reading list. If your wanting to grab copies of this book you can head over to https://www.macchiato.studio/ and grab you self both the physical and digital copies of issues one and two, or if you wanna try it today and see for yourself the hype be sure read it on the Blank Sands Publishing app, BSP Comics available on both the app store for IOS and google play for Android.

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