Review: Troubled Waters #1

Originally posted on Irish Comic News (11/Nov/2016)

Troubled Waters

Troubled Waters
Written by Keith Kennedy
Art by Keith Kennedy

Rat in the Grain
Written by Niall Best
Art by Keith Kennedy.

The first of the two stories is Troubled Waters which has Kennedy handling the art and script. The story tells the tale of St. Finbarre and the dragon Lua. A young man appears at the hermitage seeking St. Finbarre’s help defending a settlement under attack from Lua.

A flashback sequence informs the reader why it would be St. Finbarre that the young man seeks as St. Finbarre and Lua have history. The art style is changed to incorporate the use of greys to distinguish the flashback from the main narrative. It’s a choice that worked well for me considering it is a black and whites strip. It really emphasised that it was a flashback.

The rest of the story concerns itself with St. Finbarre and his attempts to defned the beseiged settlement. The art serves the story well overall. There are only two small things that I would quibble over that took away a little from the reading.

The first was the changing of the art style slightly within the main story. It meant that I had to pause on the first few panels to check if I was still reading the main story or another flashback. But this could purely be a personal thing and not a problem for others. That said I did really like the pages with the heavy use of blacks.

The second was the choice of one panel and how the art was presented within it. It was the last panel on a page and the art was perpendicular to all the other art on the page. It took away from the flow of the page which had me wondering why that choice was made for that panel.

The second story is Rat in the Grain. This story has Niall Best taking over the writing duties with Kennedy providing the art. This strip is a ‘slice of life’ story which while being short did bring a smile to my face due to some of the characters in the story. It gives the reader a brief glimpse into the life of Sandy as he is attempting to make a decision about her life in Cork. It was mainly the supporting characters that had me enjoying the story due to some of the funny stuff that they say/do over the course of the story. Kennedy does a good job with art with nothing that I could point to that took away from the story.

Two quite different stories based in Cork each with their own charm.

The comic retails at €5. Kennedy plans to have it available through Waterstones, Vibes and Scribes, Other Realms and other stores in the Cork area.

Kennedy has a Facebook page, so if people outside of Cork want get a copy it’s probably the best place to make contact with him.

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