Eat the Shadow #1
Written by: Pierre Martinez
Art by: Jhomar Soriano and Nico Sucio
Published by: Self-Published/Caliber Comics

Reviewed by: Ryan McLelland

I was wandering the Interwebs when an article caught my eye. It was talking about how Caliber Comics would be collecting this comic book into a trade. I said to myself….”CALIBER COMICS!?!?!?!” I wasn’t aware that this marvelous comic company was still around. I know there had been many changes through the years but didn’t know that right now, in 2018, they were still publishing. The trade they would be collecting will be issues of a book titled Eat the Shadow – which currently has the first issue out independently.. So what do I do? Of course I run out and read Eat the Shadow. Am I glad I did? SO GLAD.

THIS BOOK IS A FUCKING MINDFUCK OF A TITLE.

If you tripped on acid while reading Crying Freeman then you have Eat the Shadow – a brilliant book that totally blew my mind. I ran through the first issue (which clocks in about 50+ pages) and, when I got to the end, I sort of had to just stop. Stop reading. Not do anything. Just sit there and try to take it all in. This book just goes from zero to 500MPH. It never stops. The first few pages alone just blew me away.

The books starts with Kenji celebrating his 24th birthday with his friends. He is given a new drug his friend invented, described in the book as “the molotov cocktail of psychedelics.” Kenji doesn’t give it a second thought. He drinks with his friends, snorts some coke off of a girl’s boobs, and then…

And then suddenly…

BAM.

That shit kicks in. Not just for Kenji but for the reader as well. We suddenly aren’t in some manga comic anymore. Kenji is at a club tripping balls and I’m reading this book feeling wasted myself. The people look…weird. The colors are so…vibrant. There’s a sexy girl shaking her ass and Kenji walks right up to get with her.

But then it starts to fade away. Kenji’s high. The colors. Suddenly Kenji and the reader are coming down from the high and things start to become normal again.

Or so you think.

Because Kenji’s world plunges into darkness. Is it coming down from the drugs? Or does the drugs bring you to a horrible place that you would never want to visit with death, blood, and dismemberment. The book is back to black and white but as we witness the true horrors going on we all see the red. We see the blood. You see the demons around you as you read…but all you can see is the red.

I’m not even halfway through the issue at this point and it feels like someone has taken a shotgun to my brain. Eat the Shadow is truly the LSD of comic books. I’m tripped out. The best part? This issue is nowhere near done. The last third brings us into the life of the Yakuza, a killer, and some mysterious bag. This goes back to a manga style and everything really feels Eastern at this point. Everything here serves a purpose. But how does the Yakuza, hell on Earth, and drugs all come together?

I’ll tell you how: Just read this book. Eat the Shadow is the first must read indie title of 2018. You feel some highs and lows just reading through the first issue and as you try to connect the dots you feel like you need to read the book over again. How does this story come together? You feel forced to go back and start right from the beginning. Except, once again, you are drawn into the deep trip and your mind starts to take you to places you may not want to go.

THIS BOOK IS MINDBLOWING.

I’m going to shower praise on writer Pierre Martinez and artists Jhomar Soriano and Nico Sucio. What they have done with this book is incredible. I can’t even remember the last time I read a book like this…if I have ever. I almost feel it silly that Caliber is only printing the trade and not putting out each and every issue into comic stores.

Until then? The comic is available over at ComiXology.  I highly recommend swinging on over to and buying. I just hope that this creative team can keep up the pace. This first issue packs a huge wallop. If the subsequent issues keep this up we may have a true classic on our hands.

RATING: A+

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