Oh Shit, Comics!

May 14th, 2020

Short and to the pointless, here are a few comics you might want to check out online if you haven’t done so already…

Erika Price – Disorder

A series of experiments in unmaking, Disorder doesn’t need me laying it on thick, a quick glance at a couple of pages will tell you that you need to read more.

What impressed me most my second time through the series as it currently stands was the range of approaches Price adopts from a strip-to-strip basis.  Episode 2 achieves a sense of real vulnerability by showing us a figure in motion, its shifts in mood and physicality tracked in great detail panel-to-panel:

Episode 3, meanwhile, plays out a similar drama in a totally different format.  Here, whatever pain happens is framed by a writhing, corporeal, semi-expressive landscape, inner space projected outward until the difference between self and world is obliviated:

The next six strips see Price trying out a variety of different approaches to narrative, image making and panel layout without every blurring her vision of what Disorder is.  It’s remarkable work.  It’ll get under your skin.  You’ll want it there.

(You can buy physical copies of Price’s comics here or make regular contributions on Patreon.)

Craig Collins – Random Necromunda strip, 29 April 2020

Like our beloved Paul Jon Milne, Craig Collins can be relied upon to take occasional trips to a timelines where Games Workshop’s aesthetics developed differently.  In the place of the RTS realism of 21st Century Warhammer, here we have a vision of a war-scarred future that is in love with its own status as gross caricature.

Collins also has a great head for the comics strip form that comes through in everything from his collaborations with Mark Brady for Forment magazine and his own OublietteThis short displays those strengths while also providing a mocking but unmistakably enthusiastic look back at a  childhood mainstay of many a British oddball.

Not bad for one tweet and five panels.

(You can normally buy Collins’ comics here but the site seems to be down right now.) 

Sophie B. – Knives 

“Every aspect of this comic has style to spare, but a more attentive eye will reveal a sense of purpose underpinning the design” – I said this about a different Sophie B. comic less than a month ago but fuck me, it goes double for this one!  Billed as a “personal horror comic”, Knives uses that iconography as the basis for an extended visual/verbal metaphor of astonishing clarity.

 

It’s the process of cartooning at its purest, a concrete rendering of a subject that folds reality and how it’s perceived into one shape on the page.  Presuming the gap between concept and execution exists at all, it’s near impossible to spot. Since this is the story of a situation suddenly seen in its entirety, that only seems appropriate.

(I don’t think Sophie has a website or a Patreon right now but you should definitely follow her on twitter and buy her work whenever you have the opportunity.) 

Artyom Trakhanov – Dune character sketches, April-May 2020 

Not a full comic but I wish it was!  I won’t bore you with my own relationship with Dune, but I’ve spent a lot of time with the fucker and honestly, I’ve never seen it like this before!

It’s rare that I find myself looking at a couple of character drawings and thinking “Yeah, I could read 500 pages of that” but here we are.  There’s a perfect combination of storytelling detail and pure flair here, an approach to character design that suggests a break with flat utilitarianism that doesn’t end up in pure expressionism.

Looking around the pop culture landscape, with all its flattened wonders, my eyes drift back to these images for a reminder that new shapes are still out there waiting to be looked at.

(You can support Trakhanov on Patreon here.)

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