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Sharpe Knives 1 Main

"Sharpe Knives #1 & #2" Comic Review

Written by James Ferguson

Published by Acid Brain Productions

article-coversharpe knives 2 large

Written by Anthony Cotter
Illustrated by Martin Trafford
2019, 32 Pages each

Review:

Jeffrey Sharpe is a serial killer and a very good one at that. He stalks his latest prey, Sandra, before kidnapping her and cutting her up in a bloody mess. Despite doing his homework, Jeffrey doesn't realize how connected his newest victim is and that's going to bring him face-to-face with the mob and someone that can cut just as well as he can.

We're going to get to the ins and outs of Sharpe Knives in a moment, but I have to talk about its lettering first. There's a saying about lettering that I don't entirely agree with, but it is very true here: You only notice it when it's done poorly. It's all over the place in this comic. There are times when gigantic caption boxes fill up half the panel, crammed with text that's way too large for the page and then the font size will abruptly change in the next image. This is supposed to be your guide to the story, pulling you through each image and bringing your eye to key details. Instead, it's super distracting.

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Sharpe Knives' characters all fill stereotypes. Jeffrey is a misogynistic badass, killing for no real good reason. His adversary, Virgil, is a typical mob enforcer tough guy that worships at the altar of Scorcese movies and the Sopranos. Sandra is a brainless bimbo, born to play little more than eye candy.

Although Jeffrey and Virgil don't directly interact in these first two issues, they're having a virtual dick swinging contest, trying to out tough-guy each other. Who can be the most extreme? Who can cause the most violence without batting an eye? This gets old quickly, as there's nothing here to invest in. If you're here just for the gore and violence, there's plenty of that, but there's little to no character development, so there's no reason to care for anything that's going on.

Martin Trafford's artwork is presented in black-and-white with selective use of red. This Sin City-style allows for some nice pops in the imagery, drawing attention to eye-opening details like the red in Sandra's dress or the blood (of which there's quite a lot). There are some areas where it looks like red is used just because, like with an informant's jacket in the second issue. There's not a reason for this weasely guy to stand out on the page.

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There is a problem in the design, as Jeffrey and Virgil look rather similar, so it can be difficult to tell them apart, especially since they have essentially the same personality. They're both dark-haired white guys. Virgil is better dressed, but that's about the only real difference.

Sharpe Knives takes the idea of Dexter and puts it through the misogynistic lens of Boondock Saints for an overly-violent bloodbath that's a glorified pissing match between two alpha males. There are no redeeming qualities for the characters involved, so we're basically just waiting for them to murder each other in the most brutal ways possible. There's certainly a market for that, but with nothing to back it up, it's little more than torture porn.

Grades:

Story: onestar Cover
Art: twostars
Overall: 1 Star Rating

About The Author
James Ferguson
Lord of the Funny Books
James has a 2nd grade reading level and, as a result, only reads books with pictures. Horror is his 5th favorite genre right after romantic comedy and just before silent films. No one knows why he's here, but he won't leave.
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