Web Comic – Short Story – 7pgs
Full Colour
Hosted on Short Stories a subsidiary of Comic Fury
Written and lettered by James Mulholland
Illustrated by CD Malcolm
Coloured by Armand Jasmin

Writer James Mulholland sent us 2 PDFs of his 2 short web comics Three Arrows, Four Targets and A Dead Good Friend 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.

My biggest issue with this one is that as a stand alone strip it doesn’t quite work, simply because it lacks a point. In a nutshell the strip is an action packed set-piece featuring a trained ninja assassin on his first job, which doesn’t go as smoothly as it should have and as a result the hunter end up being hunted by four thugs employed by the Ninja’s mark. To be fair the writer did explain to Wicked Comics that this strip was created as an experiment to test his skill in writing action sequences, something which he does fairly well. However anyone devoid of this information would certainly be nonplussed when reading this.

What I did like is that the strip starts in explosive fashion and never lets up until one reaches the anti climatic ending. The protagonists’ background is also cleverly introduced by the writer admits the engagement between the two parties, and the narrative consistently co-exists in perfect equilibrium with the action. There are also some plausibility issues with regards to the jungle setting for this story, which could have easily been addressed with a little more attention to the plot, but such issues don’t really detract from the strength of the piece which is combat. Similarly the lettering whilst clear does at times appear misplaced.

CD Malcom’s artwork is stylish and very dynamic which really helps to bring the action alive, which is easily this strip’s forte. This is not to say that there isn’t room for improvement in terms of illustration, but generally speaking there is a consistent standard throughout. The panels are also very clear which helps the action to flow gracefully something which I’ve seen professional artists struggle with. The special effects are also impressively rendered and the subdued colouring works well with setting of the story.

Had this been an action sequence within a bigger story it would have probably worked very well, however as it gives the impression that it is unfinished. Nonetheless, there’s still enough good work in it that merits a look, if approached with the knowledge that this is an experimental strip testing the writes capabilities of handling action pieces.

Check it out at: http://shortstories.webcomic.ws/comics/8

Reviewed for Wicked Comics by
Chris Le Galle

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