Why Not!? by Thomas Holden review


Written and pencils by: Thomas Holden ( aged 10, nearly 11 )

Inks & Lettering by: PJ Holden @pauljholden

Available from: pauljholden.com


I receive around 15 – 20 indie comics a month on average to review. I’ve been doing this for quite a few years now so the stuff that wings its way into my inbox varies from terrible to jaw dropping. Sadly the terrible more than out weighs the jaw dropping, but I appreciate every single piece of work that someone has poured their heart and soul into and then sends to me for review.

Occasionally though a book comes my way that completely refreshes my love for the medium of comics.

Enter stage left, Why Not!? by Thomas Holden.


Why Not!? is a beautiful little book.

It made me laugh out loud and smile more than any comic book, indie or otherwise that I’ve read in the last 2 years.

Proper laugh out loud.

The comic timing and beats of these stories are just perfect. Telling a story in comic form in its limited page count is an amazingly difficult task to pull off. Holden does this in every story, sometimes in as little as six panels. Condensed storytelling to this scale and managing to pull off a punchline is just outstanding writing.

The pencils in this are better than 90 percent of the indie books I receive. every one of these stories are a joy to look at. Panel progression, story pace, view points are bang on the money. If this is the standard of art work that Thomas Holden is producing at just shy of 11, what is this dude going to be producing when he’s older?

I’ve deliberately not added too much of the book as I want you to come across it with the same surprise as I did when you first read it.

Yeah dad PJ Holden has done some inking and some lettering… just right. You use the tools at hand. Very few major artists ink or letter their own books. I know PJ’s work more than most and this is all Thomas. How long might it be before the work of the Padawan learner outstrips that of the Jedi master?

You get a lot of bang for your buck here too. I think I counted 11 stories, some shorts, a pin up

and to be quite honest the best bit! A word search and puzzle ( I wish every comic book had these )

What I loved most about Why Not!? was that it reminded me that comics can be funny and by that extension FUN. Not every book has to be Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight or A History of Violence by John Wagner. They should sometimes just make us smile. I’m still smiling as I write this review.

Why Not!? Is available to download for free from pauljholden.com

There is an option to make a payment to Thomas Via Paypal in the form of pay what you want. I stumped up a fiver because the enjoyment it gave me and the love of comics that it fanned in my cold, dark, cynical heart is more than worth a fiver of anyone’s money.

I hear that Thomas is hard at work on episode 2 of WhyNot!? and I for one can’t wait. Especially to find out who will win in CATS VS DOGS in SPACEDOGS.

Why Not!? by Thomas Holden review
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