It should be no surprise that it’s hard to find success in the comic book industry. Writer/director Tony Mouleart’s The Fountain Pen is the story of an artist who discovers the “power” of success and the comic book consequences that follow.
Poor Scott’s (Tony Mouleart) life is going down the toilet fast. He’s behind on his bills, his girlfriend has recently broken up with him, and he’s about to be fired unless he can come up with a new comic book pitch. Then, while out on a walk, he stumbles across an insanely bedazzled fountain pen. When he goes home to draw, the pen magically gives Scott newfound inspiration.
After drawing a voluptuous femme fatale, she shows up at his door. Introducing herself as Bianca (Kayla Eva), she immediately seduces Scott. He wakes up handcuffed to the bed with a note from Bianca telling him the titular object has magical powers. Anything he draws becomes a reality, and he tests the writing implement by successfully drawing himself out of the cuffs.
“…the pen magically gives Scott newfound inspiration.”
Scott soon becomes famous with his new superhero, Omega-1, who looks a lot like Bianca. The Fountain Pen shows that the book is a hit, a movie deal is made, and Scott becomes an overnight success. All is going great, except there are sinister forces, who know about the fountain pen’s existence, and they’re coming after Scott.
As a short film, The Fountain Pen is a mixed bag. However, I enjoyed the story and loved the ending that pays homage to a legend. On the other hand, it does suffer from being a micro-budget production and needs to better balance between telling a good story and producing an excellent short. Fortunately, a solid plot will cover up plenty of shortcomings.
The biggest problem is the inconsistent sound. The levels are off from scene to scene, and the “answering machine” voices needed filters to make them sound like recorded messages. There are other tip-offs that the filmmaker hadn’t graduated from a high-priced film school. Still, there’s a certain charm to this production.
The Fountain Pen tells a fun fable that shows how hard the comic book industry is for creators. Yes, there are flaws in its execution as a short film, but hopefully, you’ll allow the story to carry you away and make up for those.
For screening information, visit the official Facebook page for The Fountain Pen.
"…a fun fable that shows how hard the comic book industry is for creators."