Blood, gronch, poison throwers, living mountains, and more: the dark psychedelia of ORC STAIN

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Orc Stain


Sitting here and describing the plot of Orc Stain would be about as fruitful as listening to someone describe their acid trip. Yeah, you might get SOMETHING out of the tale, but the only one who really gained any understanding was the person who experienced it.

It’s a world full of orcs. They fight. A lot. There’s also all manner of other kinds of deadly creatures. There’s blood and violence and destruction. James Stokoe has created a world where everything seems alive, and often is. Mountains can be great monsters – other seemingly inanimate objects get up and walk or crawl away. As much a very dark Oz as it is Mordor – and the artwork brings it all together; recalling the classic years of Heavy Metal magazine (in particular the acidic nightmares of Phillipe Druillet) – Stokoe’s bright colors and dark themes mix into some kind of horrible rainforest where all the colors bleed, and often with real blood. It’s a place in which you probably wouldn’t want to live, but one you really ought to see.


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Individual Orc Stain issues are published irregularly (presumably as Stokoe finishes them…?), but are very much worth the wait. There is at least one trade paperback collection available at this time (pick that up from your local independently owned comic shop or book store – no amazon links here!). Stokoe’s blog is definitely worth checking out as he often publishes works in progress, previews, and some amazing bonus features like his stunning Spiderman in Viet Nam story – which I dearly hope gets published some day.



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