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Penny Nichols s/c

Penny Nichols s/c Penny Nichols s/c Penny Nichols s/c

Penny Nichols s/c back

M. K. Reed, Greg Means & Matt Wiegle


Page 45 Review by Jonathan

"I never wanted to be a teacher or lawyer. I never wanted to be anything, really."

I think there might be a fair few people out there who can admit to that. Still at that point, with the true horrors of the reality of what awaits one post-education just beginning to kick in, you just have to get your finger out of your proverbial behind or you'll end up stuck in a crap job living with a flatmate who totally hates you. Well, maybe not that last bit, but Penny Nicholls has managed to 'achieve' that feat as well! Here is the plot summary from the publisher as to how she's going to try and clapperboard the second act of her life into action...

"Somehow, cynical Penny Nichols has gotten roped into helping make a ridiculously over-the-top slasher film. With a crew of flakes and oddballs, she's probably the only one who can save this stupid movie… but maybe it can save her, too. Now can somebody please stop that dog from licking the fake blood?

Stuck working mind-numbing temp jobs, Penny Nichols yearns to break free from the rut she's found herself in. When, by chance, she falls in with a group of misfits making a no-budget horror movie called Blood Wedding, everything goes sideways.

Soon her days are overrun with gory props, failed Shakespearean actors, a horny cameraman, and a disappearing director. Somehow Penny must hold it all together and keep the production from coming apart at the seams.

This hilarious graphic novel is a loving tribute to the chaos and camaraderie of D.I.Y. filmmaking, and the ways we find our future and our family in the unlikeliest of places."

Come on; admit this too, we've all seen certain films and thought, "I could do that." In fact it never ceases to amaze me just how many bad films of all budgetary levels get made. I'll freely admit I've thought the same regarding many a comic too, and yet I've made neither a film nor a comic, and probably never will. Why? Well, it does seemingly takes a special sort of lunatic to make films and indeed also to make comics*. Which is why a comic about absolute rank amateurs making a low-budget horror film has got high farcical potential written all over it. And so it proves!

* You just have to be a complete lunatic to sell them…

Fortunately for the hapless duo of directors in question it seems they've lucked out by begging and pleading with Penny to come on board to help out as she promptly warms to her task with gusto, taking all the myriad problems - mostly caused by the incompetence and slackassery of her new colleagues - in her stride, as the gang attempt to complete their flick in record time to submit it to Slashercon, where they are convinced the inevitable fortune and glory await. Well, the more deluded of them. And so it...

Ah, ah, no spoilers now! Nowhere worse than a comic shop for someone spouting out a film spoiler without the proprietor managing it too...

M.K. PALEFIRE / AMERICUS Reed returns (in conjunction with co-writer Greg Means) with yet another completely different project having covered crime as well as kids' works previously. This comedy offering is one of the most wittily entertaining ensemble tales I've read in a while, really getting into the characters foibles and fixations, particularly Penny's, in excruciatingly entertaining depth.

While the cast start to practically bounce off each other as the impending deadline looms ever larger and thus the pressure continues to mount ever further on Penny, can she handle it without cracking, particularly with her snarky snobby sister continually chipping in from the sidelines? Artist Matt Wiegle captures the bonkers nature of the story perfectly with a style that minded me greatly of a slightly toned-down (if that's even possible!) Evan ELTINGVILLE CLUB Dorkin.

That's a wrap. Just buy it. And why not? Trust me, I'm like the Barry Norman of comics reviewing. Or something.