A lot of people live their lives stuck. That’s what Shed is ultimately about. The abyss of being stuck and what that can do to a person. I’m not going to get into the metaphor at play here, because it should be experienced for itself. So, I’ll start again…
This book is about a young gal named Amber. Her father has died, and she’s ended up in the same used antique store he owned, on the same island he lived. She’s excited to be there. Her first customer is Fran: an older woman who wears black and is mostly unfriendly, but not against causing shenanigans, a true-blue troublemaker; she is not excited about many things. They hit it off, for the most part. Also on the island is a group of older women called the “Elizabeths.” Fran and the Elizabeths do not get along well. But I’ll save the plot for your reading. So, let me begin again…
This book is about youth and aging.
Wait, no. This book is about being human and the things we lose and are afraid to even go after, because we’re fragile. This is an eloquent, exceptional book about all those things and probably more. It captures that real-world feel of a small community while also highlighting the magic that can exist there for an outsider. I feel like this is every small town in Scotland with its Nessy or Big Foot or American werewolves.
This is such an incredibly well-crafted book. It’s the first book I’ve read of Lucy Campagnolo’s, and I’m a fan. The writing is subtle, it isn’t too quirky, and it doesn’t play the fiddle for you. It’s smart and character driven. It has a wild sense of humor that will sneak under your radar. I’d draw a comparison to Martin McDonagh, the Irish playwright and filmmaker, but without the hyper violence. Richard Fairgray’s artwork doesn’t disappoint. Just picking a random image of Fran first entering the antique store in a four-panel layout as she meanders about, sometimes just in reflections, distorted by gumball machines. The image is so visually complicated, so very telling, but it looks fresh and easy on the eyes. Every image is clearly thought out to tell a story that invests you with ease. You forget that drawing is difficult looking at these Fairgray’s work.
Is this book well-worth looking into? A resounding “yes” emits from my fingertips.
Creative Team: Richard Fairgray (co-writer, artist), Lucy Campagnolo (co-writer)
Publisher: Blue Fox Comics
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*Writer’s Note: I am acquaintances with Richard Fairgray and have attempted due diligence to provide a fair and objective review of the work.