"Holliston: Friendship is Tragic" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Source Point Press
Written by Greg Wright
Illustrated by Stephen Sharar
Colored by Joshua Werner
2016, 58 Pages
Comic released on October 27th, 2016
It's Halloween in Holliston, Massachusetts, and Joe and Adam want to throw a bitchin' party. Being lifelong horror fans, this is like their Christmas. Lack of funds presents a problem, but then Adam finds a cursed credit card and decides to go on a spending spree...by buying gifts for his three friends. That's not much of a party. Anyway, since the card was cursed, so were the gifts, and chaos ensues.
Holliston: Friendship is Tragic is based on the horror sitcom created by filmmakers Adam Green (Hatchet, Frozen) and Joe Lynch (Everly, Wrong Turn 2: Dead End). Full disclosure: I had never heard of the show prior to the press release announcing this comic. I did some digging and watched some clips on YouTube, but quickly found that this is not my cup of tea. The jokes are stale and forced and the laugh track is awful. Unfortunately, the comic does not fare much better. It's like watching Xander from Buffy the Vampire Slayer argue with himself, but without the signature Joss Whedon wit. It tries so hard to sound cool and comes off as corny instead.
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The characters and premise are easy to pick up on even as a newcomer to the franchise. Reading creator Adam Green's four-page, single-spaced introduction gave a lot more – perhaps too much – information as well. The only thing I didn't really get was Adam and Joe's neighbor and why they're terrified of him. That is not explained at all and results in some strange scenes.
Stephen Sharar's artwork is a saving grace in Holliston, especially towards the end of the book where things are escalating to larger and more extravagant levels. There are some epic shots featuring everything from giant robots and cannibal children to a big ass monkey and UFOs. It's a sight to behold.
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Sharar has a cartoony style which lends itself to the light attempts at humor. There's a childlike naiveté to Adam and Joe. They're man children seemingly unaware of the outside world or how it works. Both of them have a near constant wide-eyed expression of awe and general excitement just to have something to do.
Holliston: Friendship is Tragic is dad-joke level comedy with a slight horror twist. If you're a fan of the genre, you might enjoy picking through the references made throughout the book. There's absolutely no character development and no one learns a damn thing. It's a groan-worthy sitcom turned into a comic.