Propaganda – on Nabiel Kanan’s Birthday Riots and Lost Girl
Birthday Riots & Lost Girl
by Nabiel Kanan
Few writer/ artists, especially British, have ever burst onto the comics scene with such incendiary style as Nabiel Kanan did back in the early 90s. Amongst a wave of awful, derivative, badly drawn, poorly written trash, the first issue of Exit, with it’s beautifully designed acid green logo & smooth, clean lines shone as art amongst the rubbish of the times.
Lost Girl & Birthday Riots are very late follow ups to the success that was Exit. Luckily, for Kanan & us, they have all the brilliance of Exit, but with an added maturity & intelligence to the writing. It’s instantly recognisable as Kanan, beautiful artwork, clean line, heavy & atmospheric use of blacks & the negative space on the page. But it’s the writing style that really shines in these.
With Lost Girl, he tells the tale of a young girl, on the brink of adulthood, holidaying with her family. She meets a mysterious & possibly dangerous stranger, a girl just older than she is, but far more free-spirited & troubled.
Birthday Riots tells a similar coming of age story, but from a completely different perspective as a middle aged family man faces up to events brewing since his daughter’s early years & discovers that his life is lacking in something & he realises that he’s not the person he would want to be.
Both of these books are masterpieces of ethereal writing & stunningly beautiful artwork. An absolute joy. All we could wish for now is the re-publication of Exit. & sometimes wishes do come true – the complete Exit is due in September 2008. Definitely one to get.