Writer: Drew Ferguson
Illustrator: Lee Ferguson
Publisher: Scout Comics
WHAT IS IT?
Sam and His Talking Gun #1 is a thrilling comic about revenge, assassins, and betrayal. Shots are fired and witty villain spiels ensue in dramatic, action-genre fashion.
It's a slightly comedic take on gun-slinging action movies with characters like James Bond and John Wick.
WHAT’S IT ABOUT?
Sam seeks revenge on his old assassin partner, Colt, but still can't quite bring himself to put a bullet through Colt's head – yet. Sam was an expert hitman turned asylum resident after a betrayal from Colt psychologically shattered Sam's mind.
After an undetermined amount of time spent in a psychiatric hospital, Sam wants the man he used to call his brother to face repercussions for his treachery. Thankfully, Sam's got a loyal friend by his side to help him out: his talking gun. What divided Sam and Colt? How can a speaking gun help Colt out? And will Sam ever give his gun a name?
Drew Ferguson initially engages readers with the premise of a literal talking gun and the consequences of a rivalry in medias res. You're immediately engrossed by stylized Hollywood action shootouts punctuated by comedic banter between Sam and his titular gun.
Illustrations are handled by Drew's father, veteran comic artist Lee Ferguson, and his talent for cinematically drawn fight scenes is exemplary. Lee utilizes an arsenal of crosshatching techniques that illuminate shadows and facial expressiveness.
Lee's coloring enriches his linework with a noir-seasoned aesthetic. His color palette of primarily solid reds, blacks, and white electrifies the dramatic sentiments of the assassin/action genre.
Without letterer DC Hopkins's page-popping SFX, Sam and His Talking Gun #1 would surely suffer. Hopkins visually reinforces the plot crux of an audibly speaking gun by granting the gun unique lettering and bolding the "BANG" dialogue when Sam shoots the gun. The result is both humorous and impressive, since the lettering adds to the gun's characterization.
The theme of male kinship, brotherhood, and the importance of a fatherly figure in a man's life elevates this comic from coming off as a derivative revenge story. Drew and Lee obviously pulled from their own relationship as father and son in the creation of this story, and it resulted in palpable, realistic character dynamics.
From a visual standpoint, Sam and His Talking Gun is euphoric. The compositions of each panel, Hopkins's diverse range of SFX and lettering abilities, and Lee Ferguson's heavy-lifting artistry could be used to teach comic book craft.
Two-fold splash pages appear repeatedly to illustrate high-octane action sequences and Colt and Sam's expeditions jumping across roofs. These splash pages effortlessly create that cinematic atmosphere of watching a James Bond film.
Circular panels on pages outlined by a thick border illustrate moments of thematic poignancy. These panels serve the narrative in jaw-dropping fashion while their cylindrical nature thematically parallels the barrel shape of Sam's talking gun.
Psychology is aptly factored into the narrative in several ways. Not only can poison ruin someone's mind, but the narrative highlights how breaking trust in a relationship can have traumatically adverse effects for a lifetime.
WHAT DOESN’T WORK?
Because of the promise of the title, I thought I'd see more of Sam's talking gun in this first issue. There's considerably less dialogue so far from the eponymous unnamed gun than I had expected.
Without spoiling anything, the method of betrayal Colt doles out to Sam might be overlooked at first.
Colt's ending villain monologue works, but the volume of dialogue overwhelms the bottom of the page.
The story does start in medias res, so it may seem really confusing during a first read-through. There's a great expositional payoff at the end of the comic that brings everything full circle, so you might want to revisit the introductory pages after this revelation.
Guns and gun violence are generally a sensitive topic. A comic about assassins, murder, and guns may not be a piece of entertainment certain people will want to engage with.
WHY SHOULD I READ IT?
I'll admit that I read through Sam and His Talking Gun #1 and was equal parts blown-away and confused. The story in this first issue is circular, and the narrative payoff at the end is one that leaves no holds barred.
Drew Ferguson's glamorized action romp throbs with an emotionally viable core. You'll laugh at the surrealism of a talking gun while gasping at the gut-punching portrayal of honor, justice, and betrayal. But Lee Ferguson and DC Hopkins's visuals are the pinnacle of excellence in Sam and His Talking Gun #1. Lee is a maestro of artistic experimentation and Hopkins has a pantheon of stunning lettering/SFX choices on display here.
From the characters to the artistry, Sam and His Talking Gun #1 is anything but predictable. Sam's talking gun has a lot to say, and is politely asking you to read this comic!*
*Editor's note: You should do as the gun asks...
WHAT DO I READ NEXT?
If you like the writing:
Undone By Blood or The Shadow of a Wanted Man by Lonnie Nadler, Zac Thompson, & Sami Kivelä
Kaiju Score by James Patrick & Rem Broo
Shadow Doctor by Peter Holloway & Georges Jeanty
If you like the art:
Mr. Keen, Tracer of Lost Persons by Justin Gray & Lee Ferguson
Infinity Countdown: Daredevil (2018) #1 by Gerry Duggan, Lee Ferguson, Phil Noto, & Chris Sprouse
The Recount by Jonathan Hedrick & Gabriel Ibarra
ABOUT THE CREATORS
Drew Ferguson – Writer (@DrewMFerguson)
Drew is Senior Writer at GameRant, ScreenRant, and CBR.
He writes short stories and comics.
You can follow him on his Twitch page, Weapon_Xcellent.
Lee Ferguson – Illustrator & Colorist (@LeeMFerguson)
Prolific: He has illustrated for a vast array of comic book publishers, including Marvel, DC, IDW, Dynamite, Image, AfterShock, and Scout Comics.
Co-creator of the comic titles Sympathy for No Devils, and The Many Adventures of Miranda Mercury.
He lives in Florida with his wife. Sam and His Talking Gun is Lee's first comic project with his son, Drew.
DC Hopkins – Letterer (@dc_hopkins)
He has done lettering and designing in the comic book industry for publishers like BOOM!, Dark Horse, DC, Disney, Heavy Metal, Humanoids, IDW, Image, Oni, Scout, and Vault.
Staff letterer for the lettering/design company, AndWorldDesign.
He hails from Indiana.
HOW DO I BUY IT?
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The image(s) used in this article are from a comic strip, webcomic or the cover or interior of a comic book. The copyright for this image(s) is likely owned by either the publisher of the comic, the writer(s) and/or artist(s) who produced the comic. It is believed that the use of this image(s) qualifies as fair use under the United States copyright law. The image is used in a limited fashion in an educational manner in order to illustrate the points of the author and not for the purpose of entertainment or substituting the original work. It is believed the use of this image has had no impact on the market value of the original work.
All Sam And His Talking Gun characters and the distinctive likeness(es) thereof are trademarks of and copyright Drew Ferguson and Lee Ferguson or their respective owners. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED