Finger Guns is a mini-series releasing on Octboer 28 from Vault Comics. Writer Justin Richards gives a youth-friendly story about reaching out to others. Despite the mostly relaxing artwork by Val Halvorson and surreal coloring from Rebecca Nalty, the lettering from Taylor Esposito directs readers to more serious themes.
Get Out Your Finger Guns
Puberty is a time when life can get downright depressing and/or absurd. Richards takes the time to instill that feeling into the main characters, Wes and Sadie. Both of these middle school students feel lonely and directionless. Wes’ mother died and his father works, while Sadie deals with her own abusive father. It’s times like these that people find small things to pass time. Fortunately, squishing heads between fingers isn’t the subject of this story. Instead protagonists Wes and Sadie find out they have the power to influence people’s emotions through Finger Guns.
What happens when preteens who feel empty find out these finger guns can do more than intended? First, they start with just a few harmless pranks at a strangers’ expense. This leads to the characters bonding over their powers and shared griefs.
Mood Shift Cartridges
Halvorson presents Finger Guns in the beginning at a relaxed pace. This allows things in Finger Guns to be funny and serious in the same space. This is helped through the different uses of grids that shift perspectives. From the classic 9-panel grids to the wide 5-panels, most of them evoke different moods.
A small number of the pages even have panels completely disappear, with only the characters left. This presents a notable shift in mood and is a defining character moment. The reader actually learns about the characters.
Nalty makes a lot of use of shifting color to mark highly emotional scenes. This naturally includes the finger gun shots. Red for anger and blue for calmness. But in panels where the background is gone, all that the reader can see are color-coded feelings. Some light greens that mark unease and darker reds that evoke hate.
Taylor Esposito as letterer makes use of words for big emotional moments in Finger Guns. Some of them look tailor made for bigger situations, like when Sadie’s dad beats her mom with some resonating thudding sounds. Some words even burst out of the balloons.
Finger Guns Will Make You Feel Things
When it comes to discussing empathy or projecting emotions onto others, Finger Guns fires on all cylinders. The reader should see how all the storytellers do their parts in this series. There are many ways comics can make the reader feel certain emotions, from how characters present themselves to how a comic is built. Finger Guns is a culmination of all of those efforts.