Review: What I.F. One Shot

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Published by Cosmic Times
Written by DJ Strong
Pencils & Ink by Jeremy Hobbs
Inks by Zack Bassett & Jeremy Hobbs

“WHATI.F.” is a one shot story about a being that can only exist if someone believes him to exist. Which is weird when you first hear it at first, because how can someone telling the story exist and not exist at the same time? This isn’t a supernatural ghost story; it’s a story of friendship, sorrow, and acceptance. This is a story that we can all relate at some point in our lives. A story of having someone in your life who makes you feel that it’s okay to be yourself and yet without that person in your life the world becomes a very lonely place.

Our story takes place in a quaint suburban neighborhood with our storyteller, Boy, preparing to say his good-byes. The entire story is basically his goodbye letter to the most important person in his life. It’s a very intimate look at the happiness and the sadness this character has been through. For a one shot it feels like you are getting more than you could hope for. We don’t know where Boy came from or how he came to exist in the first place, but we do know he has been trying to get people to notice him. He's been floating high in the rafters of clubs, above the crowds of people but no one seems to notice this elf like creature floating above them. That is until one special person decided to go up the rafters and say hi. Penelope Xylophone was her name and while it’s a very interesting last name, it’s one that she can’t seem to spell. And while Boy may be able to float in the sky, meeting someone who can’t spell their own last name amazed him!

“It’s a better name than Boy. We’ll have to fix that.”Penelope Xylophone

As time passed their friendship grew in ways Boy never could imagine. And in the greatest act of friendship Penelope finally gave Boy a name; Jackson Leviathan. It was the greatest gift he had ever received from anyone in his life. As life with Penelope went on, her life went on. She eventually got married and even had a kid. While Penelope still made Jackson exist, it was to the dismay of her husband. It is at this point in the story where Jackson felt his time was up and it was time to move on. At least until she needed him again. 

This was an incredible visual interpretation of a goodbye letter. From start to finish it was a incredibly gripping tale. It definitely hit the right points to get you invested in the characters; while wasn't too much information given, there was still enough to keep your attention. While it was a moment in time with memories spread throughout, the storytelling was just compelling.It does make you wish there was more story just to see how things go or just to see Jackson Leviathan's origin. Since Penelope has been the only one to make him exist, it makes one wonder if her child could do the same and what kind of days they would have together. 

The art style was very fitting and well done. It set the tone of the story perfectly. Almost rough pencils during the present day showing the sadness that Jackson Leviathan felt; clean pencils during the happy memories. It's a completely black & white comic with varying shades of gray; no color whatsoever. Which makes it work best since this is a sad good-bye letter. The cover art is really conveys the peacefulness of the story, just a lone figure walking off into the sunset with gorgeous colors.  

If you are a fan of short stories or are looking for something new and interesting, this one issue is worth picking up and adding to your collection. 


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