At its heart, Mary Boys #1 is about a tale of when a big corporate company comes in and takes over, running small businesses out of town, one could say it’s “ripped” from the headlines.
We are first introduced to four teenage boys, orphans Harry, Chaz, Phillip, and William. The boys are from a backwater English town called Basham where they were raised by an old priest named Parrish.
The Mary Boys are quadruplets born with a rare genetic condition that causes enlarged hands and feet, distorted facial features, and prevents sufferers from growing any body hair.
Drinking beer gives them almost superhuman strength and endurance. Basham is riddled with many social problems thanks to a huge retail corporation driving out small businesses, cutting jobs, and leaving large sections of the community impoverished and at the mercy of gangs.
Parrish prophesied that Basham will suffer a great biblical apocalypse unless it is purged from its evils. So, the boys roam the streets at night with their cricket bats, heavy boots, and cans of lager to bring in the needed salvation by force.
Mary Boys is a black and white book and is 32 pages with 24 pages of story and some fan art. The creator, Karl Stephan, stated “Covers and interiors are traditionally illustrated with ink washes in a style influenced by artists like Jack Davis, Will Eisner and Wally Wood. The sensibilities are retro, harking back to the era of irreverent indie comics of the 80’s and 90’s”.
I thought that perhaps my recent re-read of the original TMNT had colored my opinion somewhat as I picked up some serious (I assumed unintentional) Turtle vibes with Mary Boys. It wasn’t until after this review was finished that I learned the creator admits to the influence so, well done Karl!
The story flows well and has comical parts in it. The lettering is good and easy to read. You can understand everything that is being said and what is going on throughout the book. Mary Boys does contain violence and drinking, so I would say this book would be recommended for a mature audience.
Illustrator, Inks, Writer, Lettering: Karl Stephan
NOTE: Production value for Mary Boys #1 was not considered in our rating as our review is based on a digital-only comic.