REVIEW: ‘Finger Guns,’ Issue #4

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Finger Guns, Indie Comics, Vault Comics

Finger Guns #4 is written by  Justin Richards, drawn by Val Halvorson, colored by Rebecca Nalty, lettered by Taylor Esposito, and is published by Vault Comics.  Picking up from the emotional cliffhanger of issue three, we return to Wes and Sadie’s world of teenage friendship, angst, and hardship. Taking place during a school field trip to an aquarium, Wes feels out the situation with Sadie as best he can.

Richards is very good at capturing that childlike rawness of teenagers. Wes clearly is so torn up over the fact that he cannot help his friend’s situation. The hopelessness of not being enough of an adult to assuage the problem is subtly noted within the script. Halvorson’s knack for drawing intense facial expressions brings the character’s vulnerabilities to life. One aspect of this book I find so refreshing is that Richards and Halvorson are not afraid to explore these teens crying. Often times, I never felt that I had enough teen characters dealing with their angst and issues in ways that seemed grounded. Rebellion and emotion had always seemed elevated and romanticized in the mediascape I was raised in.  However, I am happy to see this book deal with such heavy topics as domestic abuse, marital problems, and child abuse.

Finger Guns, Vault Comics

Finger Guns #4 is a powerhouse of emotional exchanges.   Richards has a lot of character conflict occurring between Sadie, her mother, and her father. It is a heated verbal argument. Esposito’s lettering is clear and direct and aids in making the narrative shine. Every speech balloon is carefully placed and is redirected to the character speaking. There is no room for confusion for the flow of dialogue during these tense story beats. Esposito, also, shines at engaging lettering that makes the script really stand out. For instance, there is a part where a character is yelling. That speech bubble has an extra-thick, black border encasing the text. The words being yelled are both bold and italicized. To add an extra flair to the extremity of what is being said, the keywords are lettered in red. This type of care is what I have come to expect from all letterers because Esposito always delivers and excels because it makes the books he’s working on stand out and excel.

Nalty’s color schemes in Finger Guns #4 shy’s away from the brighter pages of the previous issues. Instead, she uses a lot of warm-toned yellows, oranges, and reds. As mentioned above, there is a lot of anger, angst, and vulnerability seeped within issue 4 of Finger Guns. The color symbolism of reds and oranges for intensity and passion is not lost on me. It is cohesive and sprawls across every 2 sets of pages (left and right). The simplicity in colors fits the minimalist design of Halvorson’s characters and settings.

Overall, Finger Guns #4 dug deep into the familial issues that Sadie is dealing with. Anyone who was friends with someone who had a hard home life understands the position Wes is in. I am still so consistently impressed by debut-writer Justin Richards for scripting a poignant and realistic look into the realities of teenagehood. Vault Comics never disappoints and the team of Nalty, Halvorson, and Esposito continue to make this indie title one of my personal favorites on the shelves.

Finger Guns #4 is available wherever comics are sold.

Finger Guns #4
4.5

TL;DR

Overall, Finger Guns #4 dug deep into the familial issues that Sadie is dealing with. Anyone who was friends with someone who had a hard home life understands the position Wes is in. I am still so consistently impressed by debut-writer Justin Richards for scripting a poignant and realistic look into the realities of teenagehood. Vault Comics never disappoints and the team of Nalty, Halvorson, and Esposito continue to make this indie title one of my personal favorites on the shelves.