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PRAISE FOR LOOKING GLASS HEIGHTS:

Classic British indie small press pamphlet, and a sharp burst of mood and ideas. It’s very much comics as poem – it’s the sort of work that Douglas Noble has been known to do” – Kieron Gillen

A spooky zine… Liked this a lot. The writing is really strong and the art suggests just enough to make you uneasySarah Horrocks

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portal #1

portal #2

portal #3

portal #4

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If you enjoy the above video or any of the LGH comics, please consider giving some time or money to Living Rent (Scotland’s Tenants Union) or another similar group closer to home –

thanks,

David

Punishment Through Time

January 16th, 2019

Holocene, by Horehound 

Our Raw Heart, by YOB

“It is our suffering that brings us together. It is not love. Love does not obey the mind, and turns to hate when forced. The bond that binds us is beyond choice. We are brothers. We are brothers in what we share. In pain, which each of us must suffer alone, in hunger, in poverty, in hope, we know our brotherhood. We know it, because we have had to learn it.” – Ursula K. LeGuin, The Dispossessed 

“An audience of old stone in ancient theatre, watching a circle made hard to last. Each rock a number against years to come.” – Douglas Noble, Counting Stones: A hymn of Castlerigg

I’m a metal dilettante, always have been, but 2018 was a good year for really wallowing in some bad feelings, what with ever escalating anti-refugee rhetoric that can only act as an appetiser for brutality, anti-trans campaigning from “moderates” who’d call their own arguments out if they saw them applied elsewhere, the fact that people in power are so wedded to what they have that we’re all fully booked up for climate change and mass death in our lifetime, endless dead storytelling, the flailing triumph of tactics over strategy…  all of this served as my excuse for listening to endless spiralling riffs and blown out shredder symphonies last year.

The connection between the music and my mood is probably bollocks, mind, but I’m in my mid-30s now and I sometimes need to lie to myself about my indulgences. Thankfully, Horehound were there to help me out at the end of  2018. Their sludgy blues takes the idea of defeat for granted, uses it as a starting point, even – the first words on Holocene are “Rise/Rise/We take and give nothing”, words that are howled with revulsion, an embittered acknowledgement of a detested status quo.

Defiance follows, a yearning for a break that is so dramatic as to seem impossible…

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PRAISE FOR THE LOOKING GLASS HEIGHTS COMICS:

Classic British indie small press pamphlet, and a sharp burst of mood and ideas. It’s very much comics as poem – it’s the sort of work that Douglas Noble has been known to do” – Kieron Gillen

A spooky zine… Liked this a lot. The writing is really strong and the art suggests just enough to make you uneasySarah Horrocks

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portal #1

portal #2

portal #3

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If you enjoy the above video or any of the LGH comics, please consider giving some time or money to Living Rent (Scotland’s Tenants Union) or another similar group closer to home –

thanks,

David

Outside/In

January 11th, 2019

The Green Lantern #1-3, written by Grant Morrison, drawn by Liam Sharp, coloured by Steve Oliff

LaGuardia #1-2, written by Nnedi Okorafor, drawn by Tana Ford, coloured by James Devlin

“The outside is not “empirically” exterior; it is transcendentally exterior, i.e. it is not just a matter of something being distant in space and time, but of something which is beyond our ordinary experience and conception of space and time” – Mark Fisher, The Weird and the Eerie

“It sickened me when I heard the expression for the first time, barely understanding it, the expression crime of hospitality [delitd'hospitalitej]. In fact, I am not sure that I heard it, because I wonder how anyone could ever have pronounced it…” - Jacques Derrida, On Hospitality

The three novellas that make up Nnedi Okorafor’s Binti series have a distinct weirdness to them, one that’s partially generated by the flurry of casual references to alien technology and partially down to the narrative structure of the series, which gives it the feel of a story constantly in motion. This is most literally true in the first volume, which promises an adventure at a space university starring a girl from a culture that has previously had no truck with it and instead takes place mostly on the harrowed journey there, but the pattern repeats itself in new forms throughout the trilogy.

In Binti’s world(s), new adventures, homecomings and trips to meet forgotten family members are all guaranteed to be fleeting, frustrated events. In fact, at some points it feels as though Binti barely has time to recognise a new destination before it’s shifted, recontextualised as yet another point of navigation on a journey that is implicitly endless, beyond Binti, beyond any of our stories.

There is much to learn and love out there, but also a history of violence and oppression that stretches further than we can see…

 

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PRAISE FOR LOOKING GLASS HEIGHTS:

Classic British indie small press pamphlet, and a sharp burst of mood and ideas. It’s very much comics as poem – it’s the sort of work that Douglas Noble has been known to do” – Kieron Gillen

A spooky zine… Liked this a lot. The writing is really strong and the art suggests just enough to make you uneasySarah Horrocks

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portal #1

portal #2

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If you enjoy the comic, please consider giving some time or money to Living Rent (Scotland’s Tenants Union) or another similar group closer to home –

thanks,

David

Dark Knights Rising: The Wild Hunt #1

Written by Scott Snyder, Grant Morrison, James Tynion IV and Joshua Williamson, drawn by Howard Porter, Jorge Jimenez and Doug Mahnke with Jamie Mendoza

This is a story about a creature – no let’s call it what it is, or at least what it might once of conceived of itself as, a god – trapped in its own creation.

From The Invisibles volume two #4, by Grant Morrison and Phil Jimenenz 

Echoes of its own previous compositions haunt the piece like half-forgotten memories of childhood. How else could the story go? The fallen demiurge may no longer be in charge of the story but it’s still a part of it, still conscious, still able to discern its own hand in proceedings.

From Dark Knights: Metal #6, by Scott Snyder, Jonathan Glapion and Greg Capullo

It’s not just the question of who’s in control of the dreaming that’s confusing here though…

Kathryn Briggs – Story(Cycle); Magpie; Triskelion 

First things first: if you’ve not done so already, I’d highly recommend that you go back the Kickstarter for the complete edition of Kathryn Briggs’ Triskelion, which has a week to go and could really do with your support.

 

As to why, well… there’s a specific challenge that comes with writing about art that is so obviously accomplished, so unashamed of its ambitions, so confident in the way it ranges across styles and subjects. The fear of showing your whole arse is strong, but the temptation to overcompensate by dressing yourself up in all your finery… that’s the one that’ll get you in the end.

“This supreme quality is felt by the artist when the esthetic image is first conceived in his imagination. The mind in that mysterious instant Shelley likened beautifully to a fading coal. The instant wherein that supreme quality of beauty, the clear radiance of the esthetic image, is apprehended luminously by the mind which has been arrested by its wholeness and fascinated by its harmony is the luminous silent stasis of esthetic pleasure, a spiritual state very like to that cardiac condition which the Italian physiologist Luigi Galvani, using a phrase almost as beautiful as Shelley’s, called the enchantment of the heart…”

James Joyce, Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

It should come as no surprise that Kathryn Briggs comes from a fine arts background. The most immediately appealing element of her work is its painterly aspect, which is equally well applied to the depiction of classically composed scenes…

…as it is to more intimate portraits:

This is a million miles away from overworked heavy metal style of a million sub-par Simon Bisleys, thought still recognisably in the tradition of comic book artists from Eddie Campbell to JH Williams III, artists who have brought a range of effects to the comics page that are more at home on canvas:

From The Fate of the Artist, by Eddie Campbell

We should be careful that in making such comparisons we aren’t just trying to box an artist in, especially when we’re comparing a women with their older male peers. So for the avoidance of doubt: those references are broad brush strokes, while the real story in Briggs’ work is in the details, all of which are very much her own.

Kathryn Briggs knows more about the visual arts than me.  If I try to pretend otherwise it will end badly for all of us.

All I can really talk about is the experience of actually reading the damn things!

KOMISK! KOMISK! KOMISK!

October 1st, 2018

As debuted at Thought Bubble, KOMISK, the Ikea themed comics anthology, is now available from Fraser Geesin’s webstore!

Featuring strips by Geesin, Kathryn Briggs, Gareth A. Hopkins, Tom Mortimer, Paul Jon Milne and David Allison (that’s me – hi mum!), KOMISK exists at the point where mild domestic ambition blurs into existential terror and where novel shelving solutions seem to mock you in your dreams.

“Darkly humorous… really very, very funny”Andy Oliver, Broken Frontier

“Includes Fraser Geesin’s THE INCREDIBLE EVERYDAY, the best thing I’ve read all weekend”Colin Bell, Thought Bubble 2018

As a wee taster, you can download an alternative version of one my contributions to the anthology, Spegelvärlden, RIGHT HERE!

The finished version of the strip is shorter, less oblique and packed full of words cos yer man Geesin was keen on providing value for money for paying punters, but I still quite like this version and hopefully it’ll give you a flavour of the ruined good that await you in the anthology itself!