Review: Will Sinister

Originally posted on Irish Comic News (18/Jul/2017)

Written by Hugo Boylan.
Line art by John Quigley.
Letters and book design by Kerrie Smith.
Cover by John Quigley (line art) and Dearbhla Kelly (colour art).

The Malevolence (ICN review) team have returned with a new comic, Will Sinister. A western story with the team giving us their unique twisting of the genre.

The story opens on a gang of cowboys who have captured a native tribesman. The gang are led to a camp in the hope of finding information about what happened to the gold that was on a convoy that was attacked. As with most westerns that involves gold, things never go smoothly for those seeking the gold. And that’s when things get interesting.

The writing starts off with scenes and characters you would expect from a western. Boylan gives the reader just enough to become familiar with the environment. Then he, to use the language of the genre, takes the story ‘off the reservation’. The story still has some the tropes of the genre, gold-hunting cowboys and betrayal. Once the story moves beyond the confines of the traditional western story, things get really interesting. Boylan also strikes a good balance with dialogue and captions. The opening pages for example are lacking in any dialogue or captions. They may be silent pages but the pages still get the story across to the reader and make for a satisfying read.

Quigley does a solid job with the art throughout. It was a smart idea to move from day to night at the point the story goes sideways for Sinister. It’s a quick and easy way for the art to put it into the readers mind they’ve moved away from the world of the opening pages. There are some great visuals in the comic, paricularly when it moves to the night part of the story. There’s a good variety of layouts that have a nice flow to them. I particularly liked a 10-panel page that works well in showing the passage of time.

Much like the art, the lettering adds additional styling on the captions and dialogue when things turn ‘other worldly’. The shadow effect on those captions and word balloons looked great on the tablet screen. Actually believed I could just pick them up off the screen. The placement of text and readability is exactly what you want from the lettering. Even with some of the panels containing multiple word balloons, none of it is crammed in there. The art and lettering both have breathing space in the panels.

The cover by Quigley and Kelly is well designed. The chosen imagery really works for me especially after having read the comic.

Will Sinister is a strong start to the story. The reader is pulled in with an interesting story that is peppered with some great visuals. If the team continue to hit the mark like they did in this issue, Will Sinister will definitely be a story to keep an eye on!

Will Sinister launches at Dublin Comic Con with a print run of 100 copies. So get one while you can.

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