Review - Bone Machine (Hunter of Books) #1

"He is Bone Machine."

There are some treasure hunters who find what they're after simply by being persistent. Some of them dodge large rolling boulders, while others engage in gunfights. Some, however, rely on a myriad of mystical powers to find what they're hired to find. That includes Bone Machine in Bone Machine (Hunter of Books #1) from BookMaker.

The issue is written by Diego Cortes and illustrated by Nicolas Brondo.

Bone Machine deals in a currency of treasure. His latest employer Gusano Blanco has tasked him with finding books, a recent rarity in the world they share and prized by many. The thing is, Gusano fears he will run out of books to read and instead wants a writer brought to him. Not just any writer, as there are some who are members of a secret society committed to fully investing themselves in their writing.

Picturing a world without writers is rather difficult, considering society has thrived on the written word for centuries. Cortes spins it in a way that makes them that much more valuable, pitching the concept that a lavish, wealthy man will offer top reward for books and a writer. Bone Machine doesn't really care one way or the other just as long as he's paid, but it's interesting how he's allowed to use techniques that had to be learned from somewhere to complete his missions. It's likely he's more well-read than others in the world, but he doesn't entirely let on.

Brando's art is chilling. It's very scratchy and depicts a rather desolate world. Gusano's appearance is reflective of his avarice; a large, spiteful man content to boss around those in his company. Bone Machine is believable as a shaman, relying on an almost anorexic body type and frequent contortions. There's not much attention paid to backgrounds, but Brando does a great job making sure the reader's eye doesn't get past the characters themselves. There's a Ben Templesmith feel to the art as well.

Bone Machine (Hunter of Books) #1 is a fascinating book. Bone Machine's motives appear to be self-serving on their surface, as he's looking to take care of himself and his traveling companion. Whether or not he's got more at stake in his travels remains to be seen, but at the very least it looks like it'll be a fun ride. Hopefully, there will be more light shed on the absence of writers and books in the world they live in.

Bone Machine #1 is available via comiXology now.