I’d forgotten than Derik had written this. The zine is available from my shop.
Smoo 7 by Simon Moreton (2013): Packaged as 3 booklets, a map, and a short letter to the reader, these comics are about the place where Simon grew up. His revisiting it and memories from the past. As a progression from Grand Gestures, this feels even more minimal and airy. There is a point where a sequence of clouds and road unravels into a sequence of empty panels that goes on for a few pages. I love it. Empty panels are so underused in comics, I imagine partially going to a frequent production need of minimizing page count (not that that applies online)… or maybe because people think it will look lazy. Simon’s line fields sometimes reach towards the limits of comprehension when in isolation, but the drawing, the representation, becomes clear in context of the page/sequence (kind of like John Porcellino sometimes). The map is a great addition to this package, it adds another contextual level to the comics as does the letter. I enjoy having these multiple elements to shift through and read in different orders. The one pamphlet ends with these little rain drop lines falling on the figure whose wandering structures the comic. The rain follows him out of the comic, it’s a like a little extra bit of cartoony melancholy, which kind of tempers some of the not cartoony melancholy that suffuses one of the other books (“damn these blues I say”). My main visual issue with this comic is that sometimes the figures feel incongruous with the landscapes/backgrounds. It’s a tricky thing abstracting down people in a way that feels more organic than just iconic… like… drawing a simple person that isn’t just a classic stick figure (I’ve struggled with this in the past and never really succeeded). It works better here in some places than others, where the figures seem more than just circle on rectangle with lines for arms and legs. With each new comic I feel like Simon is coming more into his own as far as style. This is a really strong work from him.
How many 9 year olds do you know who are making a zine of comics to raise money to buy and save an acre of rainforest? Well I know of two, and they’re looking for contributions…
Hi. My name is Max, I’m a 9 year old boy. Me and my friend Reuben really want to riase £100 so we can buy a acre of rain forest. We thought of lots of different ways to raise money like a cake sale or washing cars but we thought making a comic would be way cooler.
We would love people to send in possible contributions to our comic for cool kids who love the planet. The theme should be the rain forest and the comic should ideally be two sides of A5 but no more than 4. We are just sorting out printing but Reuben’s dad is hoping that we can do the whole thing in colour (he’s a graphic designer so knows lots of people who print things). We are hoping to agree the content during the Easter holidays so if you could send your submissions by the beginning of April that would be epic. We are open to all suggestions including short stories, poems, colouring in pages but no spelling tests.
Submissions can be sent to my Dads email address jimlad at brianrecords dot co dot uk.
Depending on how many submission we get we cannot guarantee all submissions will be included in the comic but we will post any unprinted submissions on this website.
Finally to raise even more money we would love to auction off your original artwork, we hope that’s OK.
Do not forget to check for updates, online comics ,pictures and maybe even videos.