Review: Unfair from Monkeybrain Comics

Written by Vance Sumner, drawn by Sandy Jarrell. Published by Monkeybrain Comics.

A one-off short story about family, Unfair is a decent, if flawed, issue. As a story this is a well-told piece of work, drawn nicely — but there are some problems with the issue which holds it back from working quite as well as it could.

Central of these is the colouring. Much of the issue is set at night, and the colours grow darker and darker as the story goes on. This is all fine, but the colouring here is so dark that it makes the action of the panels incredibly difficult to work out, and asks readers to fill in the blanks whenever an incomprehensible panel is sandwiched between two better-lit panels. For a book which is ostensibly a chase, this does tend to halt the narrative’s intended pace as frequent intervals, meaning the story loses momentum at moments where it needs to be pushing the reader forwards.

There are also some technical problems – a spelling mistake on page 4, as well as rather awkward lettering. The speech bubbles appear to have been drawn by hand, and drawn wide to accommodate the letters which were put in later on in the production process. It’s a little bit of a distraction to have text with such a wide white border surrounding it.

The narrative is a strong piece of writing from Sumner, however, with a nice emotional kick to the end. The supernatural elements are introduced very well and offer an offbeat sense of style to proceedings, whilst Darrell is excellent at silent sequences. The opening sequence is brilliantly paced, with an unearthly moment which is light and funny, but also sets up the story immediately. There’s a sense of mystery, but for the most part the reader is involved in the story on a page-by-page basis, rather than anxiously flicking through to find out what the ending will be.

Despite the technical issues, this was an interesting tale, with promising flashes of quirk from the creative team.

You can find a preview on the Monkeybrain website.

 

Comments

  1. Clark Catt says:

    Speaking of things being “flawed” – reviewer, Steve Morris, did not even spell the last name of the artist correctly !
    Just think UNFAIR is a 99¢ download — I think the creators did an MOST EXCELLENT job to showcase their talents for nearly nothing — flaws and all.
    Oh, the artist’s name is SANDY JARRELL – it is on the cover, the copyright page, and first page !

  2. Fixed!

    Ah, the benefits of having someone else proof-read your work

  3. Thanks, Steve.
    I appreciate the honest review. Any review is just an opinion, either positive or negative. Overall, Steve did like the book, and I think that’s what really matters. I’m actually interested in seeing how “dark” this gets.

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