So we are near the end of the third month of Shakma and we say farewell to Richard. I’ve not added much in the way of commentary to these instalments (though there has been some on twitter), but I feel I need to stop and talk a little about Richard.

To explain, in order to adapt the story I’ve been watching Shakma in small bursts repeatedly. This lets me break down the story into smaller chunks and get a feel for what images will make up each individual panel. So the upshot is I have watched each bit of the film dozens of times.  It wouldn’t surprise me if by the time I complete this I will have watched this film more times than anyone else, and probably more than the combined total of people who have watched the film.  Now as I’ve watched these scenes repeatedly, it has been Richard who has stood out. Well Richard and Bradley, but Bradley is an absolutely unlikeable shit in the film and when he dies I punch the air. Richard however, is probably the only character who has any hint of depth or substance, victims in a horror film generally don’t get too much of that.

Yes he’s a bit of an asshole, but that’s kind of the point of him within the carefully assembled stock victim cast. But, and yes there is a but there’s a little more substance to him. Look at when he offers to euthanise Shakma on Sam’s behalf, he didn’t have to do that. Yes he almost immediately undercuts the gesture with some smart arse humour, but it’s still made. You can see from how he interacts with the rest of the cast that he wants to belong and be part of that group. He’s not though, and there is an undercurrent of cruelty to the way he is treated at times from Sam and Gary.

It doesn’t excuse his own selfishness displayed but still, there’s a little more substance there, than you initially see on first viewing of Shakma, and hopefully a little of that has come across in the adaptation so far.

So long Richard.