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Indie Comic Review: Pistol Shrimp #1

Comics are meant to be fun. Not always. But their style provides an opportunity for them to be wild and crazier than most mediums. A lot of times this is reflected in the title. Pistol Shrimp is one such name. Fortunately, the issued delivers on its premise and promise to have a tiny crustacean in a Wild West environment under the surface. There's all manner of crazy sea creatures that transition nicely into this classic Western setting, and there's more than enough silliness and action to go around.


The story starts as a lot westerns do with tragedy. A shrimp and his wife make a life for themselves in a restaurant fish tank. When the fish tank is dumped out, the two become separated and the shrimp goes on a long journey under the sea to find her. But the sea is a dangerous place. He runs into all sorts of obstacles, including a mysterious cult who worships shadows from above the surface. The issue ends in the classic Western style of the shrimp mounting his seahorse and heading off into the "sunset" to continue his journey.


As I said before, the first issue delivers on its promise. It's zany, fun, action-packed, and just as an under the sea western should be. But it's not without areas that can be improved. I don't want to call the narrative disjointed, but the events in the story could have had more cohesion. Comics are all about resource management. There are only a certain amount of pages in an issue, so everything should be linked and woven together. It felt as if the opening bar scene, the rescue of a stranded civilian, and the cult were all separate situations rather than pieces in a larger story. The ending felt similarly disconnected as there wasn't a promise if his wife was alive or if any of the events in the first issue will have consequences in the story to come. That said, those critiques certainly don't prevent the issue from being an enjoyable ride. I know I'll be rooting for Pistol Shrimp to get the happy ending he deserves.


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