Francesca Cassavetti – A Very Nasty Solitary Habit.
This was Cassavetti’s 24 hour comic produced in the ICA Comica 2007 24 hour comic challenge. Normally, as I’ve said before, 24 hour comics are no more than a rushed exercise in forced storytelling that should be kept inside the artist’s sketchpad where they belong. But occasionally, just occasionally, there’s the odd 24 hour comic which actually transcends the craft of making a sleep deprived comic and has a good story to tell. Such it is with Cassavetti’s A Very Nasty Solitary Habit.
It’s a look through her life and the strong desire to draw that manifested at an early age, through graphic design jobs, to landing a gig producing cartoon training manuals and travelling all around Europe to produce them. But once this rather rock star status of being the visiting artist starts to pale her come down pages show a quick resolution to problems that probably took years to iron out.
(From Francesca Cassavetti’s 24 hour comic A Very Nasty Solitary Habit)
Tight storytelling and tight artwork, mostly on a simple, uncluttered 4 panel grid layout. It does manage to be the rarest of things; a 24 hour comic that I didn’t actually realise was a 24 hour comic until the very end. And for me, that’s the best praise I can give it.
Francesca Cassavetti – Party Pieces.
Party Pieces is a collection of three stories about parties and are, as Cassavetti puts it “all mostly true”. There’s a tale of a punk era college party, a clever little riff on the age old party favourite of being asked “what do you do?” at all parties one goes to as a grown up and having to explain away any unconventional job (such as cartoonist) and finally an endearing tale, written by Cassevetti’s husband Nick Tesco on his 50th party.
(From Francesca Cassavetti’s Party Pieces. The trouble with having that unusual job and being at parties where people just fail to understand.)
As I’ve come to expect from Cassavetti, all three are lovely, gentle, well observed pieces with her open and relaxed cartooning flowing from panel to panel.
Both books are highly recommended and available from comic shows, from whatever London Underground Comics decides to do next after Camden and from Cassavetti’s webstore.
Richard Bruton is determined that next time someone asks him what he does at a party he will tell them he runs a ranch full of aardvarks and is considering starting a travelling rodeo with them on the side.