A Mutual Feeling Lands Some Punches / by Philip Skurski

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A Mutual Feeling by Andrew Cohen follows John Lafferty, Irish immigrant to the United States circa 1850. He has a job breaking rocks, and busting skulls for Tammany Hall. He is also a bare knuckle boxer. mutual1

The cover of this is what drew my eye. The dark green color, and the way that the action happening in view leads away off the cover so that you don’t see what’s happening (though it’s obviously a boxing match, that’s not the point). The cover is very much indicative of the rest of the issue. The line work is clean, the illustrations are solid, though a bit inconsistent. There are some panels that are just great, really cool and gruesome in that way the human body can be without trying sometimes. But then other panels fall short and look really awkward thrown in with the rest.

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The writing is, unfortunately, not so hot. It can get hammy and is never particularly inspired. But Cohen, who writes and draws A Mutual Feeling, has a good feel for pacing, a notoriously difficult thing for many writers, and the opening fight sequence reads really nicely. You can practically feel the impact of each punch being thrown, and there’s an action set piece in the middle of the issue that is also really well paced out, it savors the action and moves very nicely with it.

A Mutual Feeling is written, drawn, and printed by Andrew Cohen. This and other works by Cohen can be found online at howzitfunnies.blogspot.com.