Saturday, 11 March 2017

Three of the Very Best

Interior Art from The Human Beings Number One
I've been remiss recently in reporting on new comics projects.  The past month or so has seen three of the very best creators pitching their self-published comics on KS.

Cover to issue one of the new Andrew Pawley series.
To begin with we have Andrew Pawley's latest GalaXafreaks project, Timesongs.  This time his story features "Captain Yeah" investigating the disappearance of an intergalactic rock star, and a few star systems.  We get to, "visit planet Basshead and get down with the Bass Heads as they freakout at the galactic gig of the eon!" in another retina-assaulting melange of colour and mind-bending text that mixes freak-out rock speak with the vocabulary of quantum physics.

Andrew is one of the most original cartoonists in the UK, his work looks like nobody else's and it always looks great.  I've compared him to the psychedelic underground comic artists of the hippie era or to Beano on acid, but while both comparisons say something useful, they only tells part of the story.  In the end Andrew's work looks like Andrew's work.  There is very little else you can say

It's interesting that every time he puts a project on Kickstarter it seems to take less time to reach its target.  It appears that once readers get a taste for his comics they keep coming back for more, he has built up a very loyal group of fans.

I'm too late to promote this campaign, it ended on 1st March, but it was fully funded within the first 24 hours and I'm sure that by contacting Andrew now you will be able to order some of his mind-blowing comics and get your name down for the next mini-series.  What’s more, by signing up to his e-mail feed you can read two of his comics free as downloadable pdf files.  

Another creator building an equally enthusiastic and loyal following has his latest Kickstarter
Stuart McCune's new ongoing series.
underway.  Stuart McCune is a Northern Ireland based creator, a fine artist and the self-publisher I've probably rattled on most about over the past year.  His work is elegant, challenging and very beautiful.  He understands comics as a storytelling medium and is not afraid to use it to tell slightly difficult stories which reveal more with each re-reading.

These are the comics we wanted in the eighties, when we were trying to persuade people that the medium was on a par with literature and cinema as an art-form.  There is real depth to the storytelling and a fascinating use of architectural design, figure work that is fluid and free and an often muted, but effective, colour palette.  Beautiful and memorable comics that deserve to be supported.

The new title, the first in an ongoing, linked, anthology series, is called The Human Beings.  It’s to be published in American comic book format.  His previous books have been an absolute delight and I can hardly wait for this one.

To encourage new readers, Stuart is offering a pdf version of the first issue of Human Beings for just £1.  A great price, but I will just say that the care and attention taken with the printing makes the physical editions of Stuart's comics something a little special. 

A montage from issue four of Space Captain.
The same goes for the next comic.  I've just noticed that the Kickstarter for "Space Captain" issue four has also been launched.  Space Captain, by Michael Park and Chris Baldie, was another one of the highlights of my reading last year.  A Science Fiction adventure yarn with humour, emotional depth and expressive and effective art.  The comic produced by Michael and Chris is A5 size and '41' pages long - I'll be interested to see how that works out in the physical edition.

The first three issues are still available and are available through their campaign.

Three comics that could not be more different.  The wild psychedelic adventures of Andrew Pawley's  GalaXareaks, the elegant, sometimes obtuse but always intriguing mixture of words and images that Stuart McCune delivers and the smart, intelligent and emotionally mature science fiction adventure from Chris and Michael

Of all of the titles that I've read over the past year writing the Splank! blog these are the ones that I've gone back to most often.  These are the creators that have built the most loyal followings, whose Kickstarter Campaigns seem to reach their targets most swiftly.  Quality tells, and these are probably three of the best self-published comics I've read over the past year, or at any time, so here's to more from all three of these superb creators*.

*Sorry Chris and Michael, I know its four people but I'm counting you as one for the purposes of this sentence.


GalaXafreaks webpage.

Stuart McCune's Kickstarter for Human Beings Issue one.

Space Captain issue four Kickstarter.

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