by Howard Hardiman
Howard Hardiman’s latest comic is a departure from the stories I’ve seen so far; the lovely yet desperately sad Badger, the funny and cruel tales of Jack the Nasty Squirrel or the strange Bronchiole tales in Anthropomorphism In Action. As Howard notes on the website:
“It’s a 12-page story based on an idea of writing short, poetic stories from the other lives I could have led if I’d made different choices in life. This one tells the story of a life where I love a beautiful young woman and the heavy sense of loss that follows.”
Notice the last part of that description; “the heavy sense of loss that follows“. It seems Howard can’t quite get to grips with the idea of a happy ending yet. So this tale of passionate and intense love comes with intense sadness and loss as well.
(Two pages from Howard Hardiman’s Cute But Sad Comics # 5; happy in love and just a few pages later alone in the aftermath of tragedy.)
It’s been interesting over the last year to look at Howard’s work and watch as he experiments with his art style, finding his way at making comics and developing what he does. Here with Cute But Sad 5 he’s working with a looser line that suits this latest story so well. I’ve got a feeling that I’m just naturally inclined to really enjoy Howard’s work, whatever it is, but if that’s the case, so be it. Cute But Sad 5 is a thoughtful, melancholic tale with some beautiful expressionistic artwork, different to what I’ve come to expect from Howard, but no less lovely.
Howard’s having a little launch party for the comic in London on Wednesday April 22nd at The Retro Bar, 2 George Court, London from 6-11 (details at the Facebook group). Cute But Sad Comics 5 is available from the Cute But Sad website.
Hopefully Howard will be hard at work now on his next project, the sad tale of a little Pterodactyl, something he promises will be sadder even than Badger, which promises to have me in tears by page 3 and which is going to look something like this;
(Sneak peak from Howard’s next project about a terribly sad Pterodactyl.)