W – Brentt Harshman A – Emilio Utrera C – A.H.G. L – LetterSquids
Another “short” comic (12 pages from cover to close) installment from writer Brentt Harshman, Mistakes takes on the crime genre by virtue of inner conflict. Mick, a criminal, wants to do right by his daughter. That’s a bit problematic for a guy that’s known nothing but a life of crime. I mean it’s kind of tough to try and be responsible when you’re literally sitting in a McDonald’s plotting a crime (which is how we open). It’s a bit hard to describe someone as “good” when they’re a criminal but Mick has that “itch” that only the conscience can bring about. As he’s readying for the next job his morality takes over and he pens a letter to his daughter.
The letter is the heart of the story. It exposes Mick for what he is … a man that knows he has to become someone he’s not, but also has to be true about the person he’s been as well as find a way out of being if he’s to make the change. It is made very clear that Mick wants to be who he should be and that his true inner self hopes nothing more than to find a way to be who he should. It isn’t just a fluff filled hope piece though. The truth of Mick, where he is (and why) is there. The 12 pages short when you hit the end as you want more to this little tale of internal torment. They’re long when you sit back and realize just how much the team was able to put in and how complete the story is (while also managing to leave enough for more). Mistakes isn’t just written extremely well. The pages look every bit the part of a book that you’d see on the shelves any given Wednesday. The closeness of the story is conveyed perfectly while also emphasizing the danger and action of the crime laden life Mick lives. The usage of panel structure, colors, and scaling of the mood of the page all come together to present a striking visual half of the narrative.
I’m quickly becoming a fan of Harshman and the creative teams he rallies to put out his stories. Mistakes is another short comic that has left me wanting more. There’s depth to the premise but plenty to make this a stand alone entry. I can go back and flip through just to take in the visuals as well as re-read and pick up subtleties (such as Mick’s letter being captioned on notepaper) that render even more relatability from Mick. This is one I hope is being pitched.
STORY – **** ART – **** COLORS – **** 1/2 LETTERS – **** OVERALL – 4.25*