Doodles in the margin from an artist living and working in the Scottish Borders.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Faint Praise

A review of 'New British Comics Volume 3' from the Forbidden Planet blog.

"Next strip of enjoyable note is Matthew Craig and Richard Johnson’s “Here Comes The Neighbourhood“. Craig’s comics (Hondle, Trixie Biker et al) are well enjoyed round these parts with their typical mix of nicely done characters and a big dollop of cheer – sometimes wrapped in sadness or melancholy perhaps, but they’re a celebration of humanity for the most part.

But not here. Neighbourhood is a comedy sure, but it’s a scathing and dark one, attacking today’s mass media, celeb obsessed cultural vacuum where someone as worthless to the gene pool as Kerry Katona makes a fortune simply by being alive, stupid and always available for interview.

Taking Big Brother and it’s ilk as a starting point, Neighbourhood simply takes it a little further. If everything is televised, and if your life is just a gameshow, open to the whims of the public, how bad do you want to play? In ten pages, Craig delivers a dark, funny, scarily believable tale with a nicely sketched out cast of diverse characters. Most enjoyable, and the art by Johnson is rather nice as well. Rough in places, but there’s a lot of promise of these pages, a real improvement on his previous work in the other Matthew Craig written series; the Brummy super-saga Bostin’ Heroes."

That's about right, I think. It is better than the Bostin' Heroes I did, some of which makes me squirm, and it is rough in places. If I could remove the roughness maybe I'll be onto something. Thing is, I often know the roughness is there and don't do anything about it, whether through cack-handedness, idleness or deadlines, and then they're the bits I berate myself about.

I'm still very much learning to find a style, I think. The more I do, the less I like what I've done before.Still: there's always the next one, and I shall make the next one better.

I hope.

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