by Paul B Rainey
After the long form comic experience that is There’s No Time Like The Present, getting stuck into Paul’s smaller, self-contained mini comics is a bit of a let down – not because they’re not good or enjoyable, far from it – merely because they’re not as involving or as detailed as his longer work.
But they are still very good. Swill The Alien is your average, everyday binge drinking alien type, foul mouthed, chain-smoking and a real millstone around the neck of Alec Novak, the unfortunate human Swill seems attached to. Every night Swill’s around to pick him up for another night on the town. A night that invariably ends in one drunken humiliation or other. Sadly, our Alien friend doesn’t understand that every so often we all need a quiet night in with a cuppa and the telly on.
Telephone Thing is a completely different beast; hanging off a one line idea: what would you do if the girl you loved was a telephone sex worker and just didn’t know when to leave her work at work. Cue embarrassing moments in front of his parents and an increasingly difficult love life when she starts taking the calls in front of you. It’s funny in that oh so painful way.
Dear Robert and Partner may be the weakest of the three, but not by much. A tale of Rainey’s own life, thinly disguised, as he tries to convince the neighbour to quit the noise. Nice enough, but not in the same league as the rest, not as far as I could see anyway.
(From the Book Of Lists by Paul B Rainey, available at his website)
And if you’re out of paper comics of Rainey’s to read, head over to his website and immerse yourself into his Book Of Lists, his online experiment in comics discipline, a way to ensure his productivity that’s resulted in some fine, fine work. Each Book Of Lists strip starts with a statement or question that Rainey then answers with moments from his life that he’s been putting on his blog over the years. A simple idea but absolutely engrossing and a wonderful way to steal an hour of my time whilst I was meant to be doing something else!
And whilst I was looking over all of these, Rainey’s been busy online, with all of his excellent Goddard & Prisk Investigators Of The Paranormal strips online and a new strip: The Doctor Kyle Show, which Rainey describes thus:
Like Doctor Who? Like The Jeremy Kyle Show? Like Doctor Who but don’t like The Jeremy Kyle Show? Don’t like Doctor Who but love The Jeremy Kyle Show? Don’t like Doctor Who and don’t like The Jeremy Kyle Show? Then you’re going to love my new strip The Doctor Kyle Show.
Couldn’t have said it better myself.
(The first Doctor Kyle episode. More each Monday at Paul Rainey’s website.)
The one glorious common denominator in all of these books is Rainey’s artwork. Simple, unfussy art, whether it’s black and white or colour, very stark, little shading. It’s not perfect, but it is extremely good work.
So there’s nothing more to be said; get over to the FPI webstore for all of these Rainey goodies or get them from Rainey’s website, including a Book Of Lists sampler for those of us who prefer their reading offline. It’s an impressive body of work indeed.