By Richard Fairgray and Lucy Campagnolo
Published by Blue Fox Comics
Review by Luke Williams
It doesn’t matter if it’s happy if all you’re looking for is an ending. A story of small towns and small minds against big dreams and big lobsters…
After the death of her father, Amber seeks refuge in his small town, reopening his junk shop and looking for the happy ending she’s seen in so many movies – the one where a young woman relocates and dates two men. The one where you know exactly what you’ll do for the rest of your life by the time you hit 30. The one that shouldn’t be examined too closely by anyone who’s slumped into it.
But small towns in stories are never what they seem. It’s more than petty old women and repression keeping this town from moving forward. It’s the choices made long ago that echo out from the deep ocean. It’s the sea monster who should never have come ashore…
Shed is a small town drama, starring Amber, who has just moved back to New Havelock to take over her recently deceased Father’s second hand shop, rammed with collectibles.
Just as she starts clearing the shop, she’ has an unexpected visitor, the elderly and curmudgeonly Fran. Uninvited Fran begins to rifle through the contents of the shop, clearly looking for something specific, despite Amber’s diplomatic protestations for her to leave.
Pushy and cantankerous, Fran is the local outsider, not fitting into the town clique and there is clear friction between here and the rest of the residents.
Despite this, Amber is draw to Fran, and then, gradually as their relationship develops, the reason behind Fran’s obsession and social pariah status becomes clear.
Amber acts as the reader identification figure, whereas Fran is the real focus. Charmingly truculent, her aggressiveness and seeming lack of empathy hides deeper sadness. It’s not hard to be sympathise with her despite her being at least superficially objectionable. This is a story about being trapped by your roots your past, love and loss.
The two tone colour art with spot colours enhance atmospheric and is very effective.
This is a quiet book, and there are dramatic pauses a plenty. Silent frames slow the pace to emphasise emphasising the impact of critical sequences and beats, its great and effective story-telling, with interesting camera angles and dynamic layouts to maintain the interest.
Founded in 2015 by Simon Birks and Marielle Bouleau, Blue Fox Comics has rapidly grown to become a publisher of distinct, high-quality, character driven genre comics. From slice of life, through sci-fi, fantasy and horror, they have titles to suit everyone of all ages, and an online shop with low cost shipping worldwide from their base in Scotland. A staple of pre-COVID comic-cons, they are looking forward to getting back in front of comic fans everywhere.
Brought up on a diet of Commando, British Boys Annuals and Asterix, Lucas Williams’s day job limits his reading time. Luckily for everyone else this also restricts his writing time.