Web Comic – Short Story – 6pgs
Full Colour
Hosted on Short Stories a subsidiary of Comic Fury
Written by James Mulholland
Illustrated by Henry Simon
Coloured by Richard Sheehan
Edited by Matthew Kelly

Writer James Mulholland sent us 2 PDFs of his 2 short web comics A Dead Good Friend and Three Arrows, Four Targets for reviewing purposes. Both of which can be viewed for free on Short Stories (http://shortstories.webcomic.ws) which is James’ mini website, which in turn is a segment of Comic Fury (http://comicfury.com/index.php) the main web comics hosting site.

Before I start this review for the fairness of both the creators and the readers I wish to clarify a few things. As an independent production this comic strip is raw and contains some shortcomings, which though I’ll be commenting upon I’ll also be lenient on. The reason for this is that these are actually the first two comics written by James Mulholland and the creators are not selling this product. Furthermore in my opinion such shortcomings do not detract from the enjoyment of the strip.

One of the things that I enjoyed most in this strip is its subject matter. Although the following may feel like a spoiler it’s actually not because the following point is established quite early in the story. Essentially the plot revolves around a mobster tasked with killing his best friend/hitman. Although I personally would not have revealed this till the very end of the strip as it is, it works, and does so rather well. The reason being that the reader’s focus is directed to the strong emotional interplay between the two protagonists, which is essentially the crux of the story. The story plays on emotions that everyone can identify with and it is here that the strength of the strip lies. The narrative is solid, though at times could be sharper, with the highlight being the comfortable ease through which the writer switches from thought to dialogue.

Artist Henry Simon does a great job with the enticing cover, and lays some pretty awesome backgrounds which perfectly capture the crime noir feel of the story. I also liked the creative zest employed by the artist evident in the various angles and shots which despite the lack of action in the story, visually keeps things interesting. The panelling is decent though at times could be handled better. The only major weakness displayed by the artist is that that the faces of the two main characters appear similar and the facial expressions are sub par. I liked the choice of palette made by colourist Richard Sheehan and the subtle filtering used for the flashbacks. The colouring does indeed add more depth and help ease the reader into the setting of the story.

Considering that this is the first work done by James Mulholland, it’s pretty good, and taking into account that it’s free and just 6 pages longs it’s certainly worth checking out. It does contain some shortcomings that are immediately evident to seasoned comic books readers but all the creators show enough potential here that merit keeping an eye on their future work.

Check it out at: http://shortstories.webcomic.ws

Reviewed for Wicked Comics by
Chris Le Galle

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