To all, welcome back to this Black Ship of ours. It has been a while since I have graced you readers with my thoughts. As all the other crew members are currently dying of alcohol poisoning I have been sent by our captain, Evan, to keep you entertained!
I wanted to discuss a comic that I found on a recent trip to Dublin, Ireland. I was prowling the city streets with my wife when I happen to pass by Hidden Treasure Comics. It was a beautiful comic shop, well-organized with back issues, where small-print-run indie releases are welcomed.
As a comic lover, I don’t only support indie comics with my mouth but with my wallet as well. So while in Hidden Treasure I probably purchased the majority of the small press in Ireland. Unbeknownst to me at the time was that one particular book was published by the shop itself, and written by the owner. So the big question is, did it make the grade to stay on the ship, or is it walking the plank?
The title is called Distressed, brought to you by writer Joe Kerrigan and artist Alan McNamara. There is only one installment out thus far. I cannot remember what the price was, and it isn’t found anywhere on the issue. If I’m not mistaken it was about 3-4 Euros which would translate to roughly the same in good ol’ American bucks ($3.30-4.40).
The print job is very clean. It only has 24 pages, and isn’t very text-heavy. The lack of ads means that in storytelling terms this equates to about the same as–actually more than–your standard Big Two comic, which runs about 20-22 pages of actual story. The writing is so quick that a lot is covered in a brief amount of time, and McNamara utilizes the panel space well to achieve a fluid telling of the story.
The premise is sort of an old one. A princess and an ancient prophecy. She’ll be in harm’s way and saved by a Prince Charming, who she’ll then marry. But the story takes a hard turn with the characters–mainly the Princess, P-Cess Katt. Her wit and attitude is spot-on, and brings to life the male-dominated, disempowering tales spun by princess stories of old.
Best line in this issue:
P-Cess Katt: Carpet burn and thrush! I was ‘Ms. Itchy Crouch’ for three weeks!
Yeah, it’s that kind of humor.
I wasn’t the fondest of the art, but that was fine as I just breezed through the title. Once I took account of the content of the story I was able to appreciate how well the art meshed with the overall premise, style of narrative, and genre. The art seems a little cartoonish, maybe even, childish, but it works okay with this fantasy story with its well-placed punch line after well-placed punch line.
So in conclusion, this one stays on the ship. It is a great feminist look into classic princess-oriented fairy tales, and it’s absolutely spot-on with the humor. The art works well with the story, and its fluidity allows it to shine with such a well-printed issue. As always I add the links on the bottom so that you can give them a like, try to get your hands on a copy, and stay tuned for more great comics from this team.
So thanks for reading this, and if you have any complaints be sure to send them Evan’s way! Until next time, all hands on deck, and keep this Black Ship of ours sailing.
P.S. I have extra books that I’ll be giving out through my YouTube channel, but not until I have read and reviewed all the small print comics I brought back!