Review: On My Shoulders

Originally posted on Irish Comic News (4/Dec/2017)

Story, art and lettering by Derek Dwyer.

On My Shoulders is a 24 page comic following the adventures of Bob and his companion, Buddy the dog.

The story kicks off a little over a year after a craft crashes in the countryside. When a bomb is subsequently fired at the craft, it drops a grid over the surrounding 10 kilometres of countryside. The bomb had little effect on the craft but the same can’t be said for the grid that was activated. Various animals and insects are drastically mutated as a result of exposure to the energy the grid gives off.

Bob and Buddy are attacked by some of those aforementioned mutated creatures while making their way through the countryside. They only survive when a group of other people trapped within the grid arrive. This same group are the group Bob and Buddy had been living with up until a month previous. During that month apart Bob has gathered information that he hopes will free them from the prison the grid has created for them.

The comic is a little rough around the edges but an enjoyable comic nonetheless. The story itself is well executed. It gives some background information in the first couple of panels to get the reader up to speed on the situation. After that, we get to know some of the supporting cast before the story moves towards its conclusion. There was a sense of familiarity about the story due to the story being about a group of isolated people trying to survive after an alien craft dramatically changes their world.

The art, equally, is well done. There’s landscape, buildings, people, mutated animals and aliens. All look good on the page and appearances are generally consistent throughout the comic. There’s a good choice of panels with nothing I could pick at that would spoil the flow of a page or the story.

With regard to the lettering, some small spelling and punctuation mistakes did creep in. But, to be fair, that would be expected on a first comic where one person is handling all duties. One or two of the sound effects did blend into the art below, usually due to the choice of colour on the text. Some of the dialogue also had instances where the text was pressed right against the outline of the bubble.

For a first comic, this is a pretty good debut. Most of the issues that I saw in the comic would be resolved as more comics get produced. It’s all part of the learning experience. The comic shows some promise of what may come if Dwyer keeps at it and works on his craft.

Read On My Shoulders here.

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