Archive for February, 2010

Sonia Leong Interviewed about Aya Takeo

Posted in Interview with tags , , on February 18, 2010 by comicmole

OK, so I didn’t do the interview, but kudos to Leroy Douresseaux as its an interesting read.  I think Sonia sums up the ‘advice for aspiring manga artists’ question very succinctly in one paragraph, plus I love that the start of her answer to the question ‘When you’re not drawing, how do you spend your spare time?’ is ‘Spare time?’, and thus is the life of an artist 😉


The Webcomic List Awards 2009

Posted in Event with tags , , on February 7, 2010 by comicmole

Perhaps not entirely UK-small-press centric, but I was recently a judge for the Webcomic List Awards 2009 and the results are out today!

The awards ceremony has been presented in comic form, which is a fun way to do it.  I was one of the judges for the Best Non-Traditional Art, Best Black and White Art, and Best Colour Art categories.

It was surprisingly difficult to rank the nominees as often comics simply have different art styles, and you can’t really say whether one is ‘better’ then another.  But it was also fun to talk through the entries with my other half and discuss what we thought of each comic’s artwork as they related to each other.

One find for me was Dresden Codak – I really loved the background art for this comic, and the presentation overall is pretty unique too.  Definitely one to go back and read more of!

Journey, by Caroline Parkinson

Posted in Review with tags , , , , on February 6, 2010 by comicmole

This review was originally written for REDEYE magazine.

‘Journey’ by Caroline Parkinson, 9 pages, A5 full colour stapled single issue, £2.50.

Journey is a one-shot single issue wordless comic that tells the story of a relationship as it begins, blossoms, and matures, all under the watchful gaze of an underground station’s security camera.

The comic tells a subdued story with little action or passionate romance, however the reader’s attention is held by Caroline Parkinson’s attention to detail in the layout of her pages.  A feast of different angles are utilised in the panels: wide-angle establishing shots, close-ups, overhead shots from the security camera’s perspective, and even top-down views where appropriate.  The cover showcases this style: it features a crowd of people at an underground station, all drawn from a demanding overhead perspective.

Most of the art is drawn very accurately, however proportion is sometimes a little off in close-up shots of the characters. The colour palette is quite bright and the colours have reproduced very well in print, giving a light and airy feel.

I can’t say too much about the story here as it would be too easy to spoil 9 pages worth, but the characters are easy to relate to, and lets just say that the course of love as told here doesn’t necessarily run smoothly.

To some readers, Journey will be a worthwhile read that leaves them pondering over their own experiences in love.  However, the somewhat experimental art might leave others feeling that it is a little dry: rather like it was an extended drawing exercise for the creator.

Personally I would like to have seen the concept of a relationship as seen through the eyes of a security camera pushed a little further than it was in Journey.  For example, I wonder what Caroline could have come up with if she had restricted herself to only using shots taken through the ‘eyes’ of a network of security cameras, and perhaps with a more muted colour palette to reflect the dull, fluorescent light of underground stations.  But I have to commend Caroline on basing her comic on normal people.  Her characters don’t have any special abilities, they’re not from some crazy parallel universe, and they’re not suffering from any out-of-the-ordinary angst.  They are believable everyday people: anyone you might see whilst waiting for the underground, or even yourself.

I would recommend this thought-provoking short comic to those who enjoy stories that are predominantly told through quiet pictures, rather than lots of text and effects.  This is one to absorb over a calming tea break.

Journey can be read for free on Caroline’s website (just go to the ‘comics’ section and scroll down until you see a thumbnail for it – click on the numbers to read each page in order).  More of her work, and contact details, can also be found there.

A review copy of this comic was provided.