Holliston: Friendship is Tragic is a comic book published by Source Print Press. The comic is written and drawn by Greg Wright, Stephen Sharar and Joshua Werner, amongst the others on the Source Print Press team. The original concept of Holliston was created by horror filmmaker Adam Green. I was really glad that I read the introduction by Adam Green to get some back story on the development of the book.
The story is semi-autobiographical, based on Adam Green’s life in Holliston, MA. The TV show was a horror-sitcom with two seasons done, and a third one in the works. I didn’t know about the show in the first place, because I’m not really into much horror (though I’ll go for a good ghost or monster story). The best thing about the comic is that it is set at some point in time in the show’s canon universe, but it is not necessary to have prior knowledge of the show. Readers can quickly grasp the characters and the whole energy/spirit of Holliston in the comic.
In this particular story, the main character Adam and his best friend Joe are still struggling filmmakers with no money. For this episode, they want to have an awesome Halloween party. For Adam and his friends, Halloween is their Christmas. Adam found a gift card under a dead black cat, while they were on the way home from work. Joe warned that it was cursed and not to use it. Adam ignored his friend and stumbled into a shop named “Needful Items” where he bought his three friends gifts. Ridiculous gifts that were obviously fakes or obviously cursed (it’s a voodoo shop, man, seriously, what did Adam think he was buying).
The gifts predictably, but not in a bad way, are cursed and things get very, very bad. Laura’s model possessed her to use her own blood to paint. Corri’s microphone had a mysterious music executive show up randomly to make her famous. And the lens for Joe had him creating whatever he was imagining to real life! Amusingly, people show up to hand over gobs of cash to each of Adam’s friends. The supposed success strained their friendship which had Adam struggling to stop the curse. Can Adam resolve this curiously spooky situation? You’ll have to read the comic to find out! Ultimately, it is a lesson about greed, but it’s not taken too serious, so I didn’t mind it.
The plot itself is familiar though. I think that was my only major thing that I was on the fence about — the plot. It was simple and everything was resolved at the end, which is fine because of the sitcom aspect of the story. But, I don’t know — there was something missing from the comic that I can’t quite pinpoint. Maybe it’s just me, but that was just my feeling.
I liked the artwork. I felt that it fit the tone of the story. Also, who knew that horror-sitcoms existed? There are horror elements obviously but it’s not taken too seriously as it is a sitcom-style as well.
The character interactions were amusing. Even though I don’t have prior knowledge of the show, the main four characters and their dynamics I understood pretty quickly. Therefore, if a reader has no prior knowledge of the TV show, it is okay. It won’t take away from the enjoyment of the comic book. Adam is our hapless hero, equal parts endearing and silly. His best friend Joe is the same. (Both men are kind of idiots though). Laura is Joe’s artist girlfriend. Corri is Adam’s love interest and his interactions with her are a little creepy. But you can tell they are all friends, stuck in the same boat—no money and their dreams at a stalemate with reality.
Ultimately, I mostly enjoyed Holliston: Friendship is Tragic. It was a fun read. Other than its plot, the characters, the art, the whole spirit of the comic book was very nicely done. I enjoyed some of the humoUr, even if it was cheesy sometimes, and the interactions of the characters. I even liked the random parts of the story—their boss Lance and the woman at the store were awesome too. If you like horror or like silly sitcoms, Holliston: Friendship is Tragic will be a fun read for you!