Written by: Dave Hendrick @DaveHendrick
Art By: Rapha Lobosco @raphalobosco
Luca Pizzari @Lukapiz
Evan Shaner @Docshaner
Back Cover & Inside Front Art: Ben Hennesy @Bennessy
Cover, lettering and design by: Peter Marry @PeteMarry
“Dave Hendrick with artists Evan Shaner, Luca Pizzari and Rapha Lobosco spin three tales of opportunism, desperation and drunkenness. Read, enjoy and above all carefully consider your next decision…”
This book is like the Avengers of Indie comics. If I wanted to assemble a super team of creators for a small press book I’m not sure I would go anywhere else than the team that have produced “3”.
Three absolute stellar artists in Lobosco, Pizzarri and Shaner and a writer in Dave Hendrick that can squeeze more class into three, eight pages stories than most writers can crowbar into entire graphic novels.
In the first of the stories “One Last Drink” Rapha Lobosco draws an instantly recognizable Dublin. Setting the time period and location in a single panel. He also carries off likenesses of places and people I know and have met in real life and captures them perfectly. Excellent use of panel progression, overlaying action panels on top of backgrounds and oversized panels to great effect. This is the first work from Rapha I have encountered and I’m going to be looking out for his stuff from now on.
In the second story “Steal & Or Starve” Luca Pizzari shows the class that has recently seen him picked up by Marvel & Boom! Studios. Excellent line work, gloriously heavily inked shadows and kinetic action panels make this a joy to read. His characterization is top notch too – features the creepiest kid I’ve seen in a while in comics.
In the third and final story “Stolen Time” Evan Shaner is just magnificent. His glorious pulp magazine / Boys Own Adventure style is used to fantastic effect in this hard-boiled tale of time travel and Nazis. I’m used to seeing his stuff colored and it’s a real treat to just see his lines in black and white, showing them in all their glory. Boy can he draw a beautiful “dame”.
I bought “3” at Dublin Comic-con. From the bottom of the artist alley I spotted this on the table at the far end and made a bee-line straight for it. Dave Hendrick didn’t even have to open his mouth, I already had this clasped in my fat, sweaty paw. The cover by Peter Marry is just excellent. I bang on all the time about how a cover needs to have something, an X-factor, ESPECIALLY on small press titles as sales are made or lost on how good a book looks on a table. The design work on this has it in spades.
Equal praise should be given to the back and inside front cover by Ben Hennessy – this could have been interchangeable with the cover used. The quality of the work is that good.
The writing in this is just outstanding by Hendrick. He takes 24 comics pages and manages to fit in three self contained, intelligent and gripping stories. Not a single word of dialogue is wasted or spare. This is the comic equivalent of flash fiction. Comic writers the world over will go to the grave screaming ” IF ONLY I HAD ONE MORE PAGE” Not Dave Hendrick. As tight and as compelling a trio of comic scripts as you will ever read.
Production on the physical copy is of the highest calibre. Printing, binding and paper quality looks and feels like an industry standard book. Marry’s design throughout is excellent and his lettering is every bit as good as lettering should be.
All in all, given the level of talent here I feel like I’m cheating describing it as an Indie title…but that is exactly what it is. In the future when anyone asks me to tell them what I think excellence looks like in a small press comic, I’m going to reach them this book.
Available to buy digitally on Gumroad