Writer: Colin Bell
Artist: Neil Slorance
Colours: David B. Cooper
After what feels like an eternity (but has actually only been about a year and a half), the Second Trial of Colin Bell and Neil Slorance’s award-winning Pirate Fun is finally on its way! And with a Kickstarter to fund production of the latest chapter launching today, I’ve been lucky enough to take a look at the Second Trial, and I’m happy to report that it’s most definitely worth the wait.
With Bell and Slorance handily recapping what has happened previously in the series on the opening page, we launch headlong into the lively, colourful and pun-filled world of magic and monsters as our hero Fun Mudlifter continues her quest to become a fully-fledged Pirate (well, after another cracking little musical number, that is).
Despite the extended layoff, there’s absolutely no dip in quality here, with the same blend of charming visuals, chuckle-worthy gags and groan-inducing puns that has made the series such a success to this point.
Slorance’s artistic talent should be pretty much unquestioned by this point, with an uncanny knack for making outwardly simplistic characters appear incredibly expressive – not to mention a real flair for physical comedy. David B. Cooper’s colours provide the icing on the visual cake, with a vibrant, energetic palette that really helps Slorance’s illustrations to pop throughout the course of this issue.
The story itself is the familiar blend of silliness and humour that will appeal to older and younger readers alike, with tons of subtle gags interspersed between the bigger ones to reward repeat readers. However, rather than just a succession of fun situations and moments, Bell actually throws us a bit of a sinister curve-ball in the final pages (to say the least!), giving the story a new and slightly menacing wrinkle as we head into Fun’s Third trial.
From a personal point of view, I’m still not entirely sold on Phillip Fun as a character (I’m just not philling him, you might say), but the emergence of Rainbowbeard and the introduction of the fantastic Handhook Legpeg in this issue more than balances things out, character-wise.
At the end of the day, if you’ve picked up any of the previous issues of this series then you’ll already have this marked as an essential purchase (right?), but if you haven’t, you really need to give this one a look. The clue’s in the title, dingalings. This is pure, unadulterated fun from the first page to the last.
The Kickstarter for Pirate Fun: The Second Trial is live right now (CLICK HERE)