In praise of the Pasty….

Published On September 9, 2009 | By Richard Bruton | Comics, Reviews

The Pasty Anthology

cooked up by Rob Jackson, ingredients assembled by Steve Butler, Francesca Cassavetti, Jim Medway, Dave Hughes, Anthony Mercer, Rob Jackson and Matt Badham.


Pasty cover

Sometimes you do wonder what on Earth people are thinking when they come up with the ideas for a theme for their anthologies. Rob Jackson’s latest certainly wins the award for the strangest theme I’ve seen for a while: Pastys, that staple of Cornish miners, tasty fillings wrapped in shortcrust pastry. According to this piece on Down The Tubes, it was an idea based on an old Viz theme:

“I mentioned a random idea on my blog for a Pasty based story (‘The Story of Greggs’ – which was a Viz-style story, thinking of those pages in Viz every so often that are called things like ‘The Story of Honey’ or ‘How We Get Milk’),” explains Rob of the anthology’s origins. “Dave Hughes was very keen and started drawing pages for it so I thought I’d better actually make it.”.

The anthology format always lives or dies by it’s contributors and Robs assembled a familiar cast of small press faces here, who all produce some very nice work on a pasty theme. There’s a cautionary tale from Steve Butler about looking both ways when deciding on health foods or a trip to Greggs. Francesca Cassavetti‘s entry cheats completely and ignores the Pasty in favour of chewing gum – seems we share the same mother on this – mine always used to tut and complain whenever I sneaked gum as well – and  I’d always end up swallowing it when she inevitably told me off too. The usual lovely Cassavetti style makes this a lovely little strip to look at.

Dave Hughes‘ Thomas Wogan of Thomas Wogan Is Dead fame makes a welcome return in a virtual how to guide of a comic – instructive and entertaining – who could ask for more?


(Dave Hughes’ Thomas Wogan is having Pasty night. From The Pasty Anthology.)

And Rob himself gives us a silly and funny look at a history of Greggs The Bakers; did you know they were named after King Henry VIII’s favourite brown Muscovy duck? Me neither. And there’s even chance for FPI contributor Matt Badham to give us a couple of well written pages on Natto, legendary Japanese foodstuff. Except he turns it onto a short essay on family and memory – a nice tribute to his late dad.

If I had to pick one favourite it would be Jim Medway‘s strip; a whole page of his wonderfully expressive animals all stood at the counter of some imaginary Greggs or other:

Copy of Pasty1

(The trademark figures of Jim Medway’s art – from the Pasty anthology.)

The Pasty Anthology: Does exactly what it says on the cover (a funny little Apes homage by Jackson) – a fun and entertaining look at the world of the tasty and nutritious snack food, the humble pasty. It’s still a weird subject to pick, but everyone inside does a grand job of making the anthology a fun read.

Rob’s comics are available from the Forbidden Planet British Small Press shop and from his website and he has a blog.

Richard Bruton.

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About The Author

Richard Bruton

– Started in comics retail aged 16 at Nostalgia & Comics, Birmingham. Now located in Yorkshire, he’s written for the Forbidden Planet International Blog since 2007. Specialising in UK Comics and All-Ages comics, Richard’s day job in a primary school allowed him to build the best children’s graphic novel library in the country.

2 Responses to In praise of the Pasty….

  1. doug baja says:

    Being a Yankee I don’t entirely grok all the Brit references etc. Is the muscovy duck reference a joke? If not can you provide me with the source?

    Recently found out that the dinosaur in the comic strip Alley Oop had its facial traits taken from the author’s pet muscovy.

  2. doug baja says:

    …and where can a get a decent pasty in San Francisco CA?