Behold “The Wizened Fist”, Where SEVENTEEN Artists Interpret The Same Two-Page Story [REVIEW]

Written by: Fraser Campbell
Illustrated and lettered by: Allan MacRitchie, John J. Pearson, Conor Boyle, Carlos Moran, Colin Maxwell, Gavin Mitchell, Russell Olsen, Erika Price, Iain Laurie, Alexey Ivanov, Andy Turnbull, Ian Newman, Matt Sandbrook, Steven Ingram, Stu Linfield, Samir Hamid, Richard Rudge, Rob Jones.

A bank heist, an ageing super hero and cosmic horror. The Wizened Fist is not the hero you want, but he may be the hero you deserve…

At the beginning of lockdown, Fraser Campbell posted up a-two page script for a horror story and asked if anyone would like to illustrate it for a bit of fun, and to see how different artists would interpret his story. Expecting absolutely zero response, what we’ve ended up with instead is a book comprised of seventeen artists interpretations of the script with the lettering on nine of the stories being provided by Rob Jones.

Before I go any further, I just want to point out that this is a free web comic that anyone can download (CLICK HERE), and this entire book has been produced purely to satisfy the curiosity of one man… a man with a very twisted imagination.

Fraser Campbell is one of those writers who can get under your skin with disturbing ease. If you’ve been lucky enough to read his recent offering House of Sweets, you’ll know exactly what I mean. I am not, and will never claim to be a particularly talented writer. I can happily ramble to you, dear reader, all day long about something somebody else has created, but I don’t think I will ever be skilful enough to weave my own stories.

While the ability to create an epic series is obviously an incredible skill, I personally find it fascinating when writers can produce perfect little nightmares in just one or two pages. For me, this is akin to magic, the ability to refine a story down to its essence and still be able to horrify is an otherworldly talent. Fraser is one of those lucky few with that ability, and with apologies to Fraser for a moment, I also have to mention another of the collaborators on this project, Iain Laurie, who can produce stories that will rob you of sleep in a couple of sentences.

The story of The Wizened Fist is one that leaves you with way, way more questions than answers (not to mention a decidedly itchy feeling under your skin), and again, it takes a real talent to go from “bank heist” to “geriatric superhero to the rescue” to “stomach turning cosmic horror” in the course of just two pages.

I can’t really say much more about the story than that, other than to reiterate that for a story that was at one point gathering dust on a shelf, this is a really good example of how great horror, doesn’t have to be a Stephen King style 800+ page novel.

As I mentioned above, no less than SEVENTEEN artists contributed to this project. I’ve listed them all above, and I won’t give you a breakdown of every single contribution (I genuinely don’t think I have the stamina) but I have to say that it’s been fascinating seeing how many different interpretations of one story are possible, and it’s been great to see some truly superb creature transformations brought to life by some very talented artists.

Do I have a favourite entry in this book? Yes, yes I do. Am I going to tell you which it is? Not on your life, I’ll let you read it and make your own decision.

If you take away nothing else from this book, then just think about how cool it is that so many people came together to produce it and that they want nothing more from you than for you to read it and enjoy it.  So what are you waiting for?

The writer of this piece was: Mark Scott
Mark Tweets from @macoy_comicgeek ‏

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