comicbookGRRRL Do not offend the chair leg of truth; it is wise and terrible.

20Jan/150

The Silent and the Sequential: Wordless Comics

As part of an upcoming review of Love: The Tiger, my mind turned to one of my favourite topics - the silent or wordless comic. Silent comics are, for whatever reasons, not often covered despite their unique accessibility and pure artistic focus.

I first encountered the idea of silent comics during my MLitt in Comic Studies - a module on International Comics featured 3" (2011) by Marc-Antoine Mathieu and Arzach (1975) by Moebius - and I was immediately transfixed.

Both comics utilised the concept of complete silence and yet they could not be more different, with 3" spanning a whole 3 seconds in moment to moment transitions that bounced between perspectives like a manic pinball in contrast to the sweeping epic of the fantastical and phallical Arzach.

Arzach by Moebius

Arzach by Moebius

16Jan/150

Review: Henni by Miss Lasko-Gross

In a year already tragically marked by the ever familiar battle between art and religion, freedom of speech and religious (in)tolerance, this fable about faith, identity, and art within an oppressive society from the critically acclaimed Miss Lasko-Gross has been noted as being particularly timely.

It's a tale that will be relevant for a long time to come, commenting not only on fundamentalist beliefs but societal oppression of women, rebellion against repression, and the power of art.

Underground comix star Lasko-Gross is well known for her celebrated semi-autobiographical graphic novels Escape from "Special" and A Mess of Everything (available from Fantagraphics), as well as featuring in the Graphic Details: Confessional Comics by Jewish Women touring exhibition.

Henni cover

8Jan/150

Top of the Shops: January 2015

January is traditionally a quiet month in the book industry, the relentless torrent of autumn releases and Christmas gift books swept aside by diets and wishful thinking texts of the new year, but nobody seems to have told the comics industry. Thank goodness.

With such a wealth of intriguing new titles on sale it's easy for some of the smaller fish to get lost in the gigantic pond, so without further ado here are some choice pickings on the shelves this month - indies, graphic novels, and floppies alike!

Top of the Shops: January 2015

2Jan/150

Vector: Sequentials #1 – Women and SF Comics

As promised, the first instalment proper of my new column for the British Science Fiction Association's critical journal, Vector. Coverage of the world of SF literature can be a tad bloke heavy, and comics are no exception.

Time then to delve into the truly groundbreaking work from SF comic creators that just happen to be female: Starstruck, A Distant Soil, and Finder; and their modern successors Saga, Decrypting Rita, and Grindhouse.

Hit the jump for the full article!

Starstruck

16Dec/140

Vector: 2013 in Comics

Earlier this year I was thrilled to be invited to contribute a regular column to Vector, the critical journal of the British Science Fiction Association. My column, Sequentials, is the first time the journal has covered comics and I'm really excited to be a part of that. 

Before my column kicked off proper, the year began with a Best of 2013 issue, so what better way to introduce comics to the Vector readership!

Below then is my look back at the best science fiction comics that 2013 had to offer, with a particular focus on four important comics: Ballistic by Adam Egypt Mortimer and Darick Robertson from Black Mask Studios; The Wake by Scott Snyder and Sean Murphy from Vertigo; The Private Eye by Brian K Vaughan, Marcos Martin and Muntsa Vicente from Panel Syndicate; and Raygun Roads by Owen Michael Johnson and Indio from Changeling Studios.

Hit the jump for the full article!

The Private Eye

6Sep/140

The Independent on Sunday – Review of IDP: 2043 by by Mary Talbot, Hannah Berry, Irvine Welsh, Barroux et al

"The Edinburgh Book Festival, which has just celebrated its 30th anniversary, shows that its commitment to promoting graphic novels remains strong by teaming up with the publisher Freight Books, and a dream team of novelists and artists, to visualise Scotland’s future."

I'd been looking forward to this exciting collaboration for quite some time, so I was delighted to be able to review it for The Independent on Sunday last month. It's fairly unusual to see a comic book focused on my home country of Scotland, let alone one of a glorious science fiction flavour.

Edited by crime maestro Denise Mina, this graphic novel features chapters by 2000 AD creator Pat Mills and acclaimed graphic novelist Hannah Berry; artist Will Morris; The Phoenix artist Adam Murphy; author Irvine Welsh and Doctor Who artist Dan McDaid; Mina herself and famed French artist Barroux; and Sally Heathcote: Suffragette collaborators Mary Talbot and Kate Charlesworth.

There are a couple of hiccups, but I make special note in particular of the chapter by Adam Murphy, which is the stand out diamond in an embarrassment of riches.

Read the full review here!

IDP: 2043