Here’s some stuff that happened while I was away this winter.
Tom Murphy has written a three part feature for Broken Frontier on landscape comics, each respectively focusing on work by Oliver East, Jon McNaught (forthcoming), and myself. He explores, in relation to my comics, the links between place, memory and emotion. It’s a a thoughtful and flattering piece that certainly picks up many of my own preoccupations in my work - in particular trying not to tell readers that something happened, but instead ask ‘did this happen to you, too?’. Also it’s about Geography, and (as a professional geographer) I fucking love Geography, so my thanks go to Tom for taking the time to sit and think about my work. It means a lot. Read it in full here.
I’m honoured to say that SMOO 7 made two notable end of year lists. It came number 30 in Rob Clough’s Top 50 short-form comics of 2013. Rob’s been very supportive this year, and this is another piece of support for which I am thankful.
SMOO 7 also features in Andy Oliver’s ‘Ten UK Small Press Comics You Need to Own 2013' over at Broken Frontier. SMOO 5 made this list last year, so it's amazing to appear on it two years in a row. Andy writes that “quite simply, [Moreton] is one of the most important and intelligent creative voices in current U.K. small press comics.” Now that is an accolade I'm not sure I deserve, but that I certainly intend to work hard to live up to.
Over at Comic Book Resources, Alec Berry writes about Grand Gestures. He explores particularly the tension between art and story, author and audience. He writes:
"Grand Gestures … is so bare bones comics, it’s undeniably beautiful for how it meshes mechanics with its larger considerations of life and the universe, and in both arenas it demands a reader’s participation."
Read the full review here.
Another review of Grand Gestures comes courtesy of Jason Sacks at Comics Bulletin. He writes,
"Though he draws a world outside our windows, full of all the modern stuff and bother of modern life – boring meetings, long car rides, drinking coffee alone at a Starbucks, there’s a calm, meditative heart at the center of this comic: a feeling of transcendence, of meditation, and ultimately perhaps a feeling that our daily lives are suffused by a beautiful sort of calm, internal poetry as we go along in our everyday lives."
You can read that review here.
And coming soon…
In the next months I’ll be focusing on my book-length work for Grimalkin Press, and I’ll be writing about it, sharing previews and talking about drawing and comics and things like that on this blog in the near future. I also have some exciting publishing news waiting to come out, too, so watch this space for that.
Until then, here’s to 2014. It’s going to a busy, important and strange year, I can tell already.
I was in a museum the other day sketching the artefacts when I realised I have no interest in that kind of documentation, of creating an imperfect facsimile of an item in pencil. That kind of drawing tries to hide the fact it is a drawing: this sketch of an item is the item, not a human made mark on paper.
I’m interested in drawing life, not from life. Capturing a moment that remains always a drawing, but also a story of the time and place it was made, is the goal. Not craft, not rational, realist aesthetics, but life writ large and always aware of itself as such. Fuck scarcity and ‘sketching’. Every drawing made is its own unique piece of life. Fuck ‘perfection’.
This is why anyone can draw. Reject received wisdom and find your own mark. Start by rejecting this ‘wisdom’ and go draw.
I’ll be selling…
Holiday. April 2013. A 32 page zine about a holiday to Spain. Mountains, rivers, beaches. Happy. Review here. £2
Blinking/Twitching a new split zine drawn with US artist Warren Craghead. I wrote him a poem and he drew me a picture and we each made a comic from it. UK debut, originally launched at SPX September 2013. £2
SMOO 5: May 2012. Stories about the sea, stories about being sad, stories about fishing and stories about coping. A memoir of being 21. Features in Andy Oliver’s 'Ten UK Small Press Comics You Should Own 2012' . £3
SMOO 6: Nov 2012. Life in change, reflecting on new routines, old memories, new houses, holidays and swimming late at night in the rain. Smoo #6 featured in Richard Bruton’s Top Ten Comics of 2012. Review on The Comics Journal here. £3
SMOO 7: July 2013. Bumper issue! Childhood, fields, forests, empty mansions, looking back, trying to move forwards. Comes in a package of 3 zines, a map and a letter.Review here. £4
Assorted badges, featuring geese, cars and my head. £1 or maybe free with a purchase. We’ll just have to see…
Also, making its UK debut…
Driftwood City by Jason Martin
This is a new collection (review here) of early and recent comics by California-based zine maker Jason Martin. Jason has been publishing deceptively disarming autobiographical comics of simple potency for a number of years. He wrote the entire final issue of Papercutter and won an Ignatz nomination for his efforts. He’s a great artist and this is a wonderful way to be introduced to his work: £8
See you there!