by oh so many fine folks…
Banal Pig Publication.
(Steve Tillotson’s take on Bruegel’s Hunters in the Snow – the wraparound cover to the Banal Pig Landscape Anthology.)
Banal Pig is Steven Tillotson and Gareth Brookes and they’ve been publishing under the pig label for a few years now. I’ve looked at some of Garteth’s work before but this is the first banal Pig anthology I’ve seen. First impressions: it’s an incredibly professional looking piece of comics. The sort of thing that really makes a mockery of the term small press for describing this kind of thing. It’s 39 pages of full colour comics and looks completely professional.
And inside it’s full of very polished works. And this is one anthology that has a rather high hit to miss ratio. There’s a theme of landscapes in some of the strips but by no means all.
Quickly running through the highlights we’ll start with Stephen Collins‘ Landscapes where he makes good use of the landscape format to tell a tiny tale of one man’s dismal pickup attempts and the relationship to his father’s kids dinosaur cartoon series:
Then there’s Gareth Brookes doing what he does best; very downbeat text over a four page landscape painting detailing his decamping to the countryside for an attempt to get back in touch with his creative side:
Pat Kelley‘s The Amazon River Basin is great fun, likewise Steven Tillotson’s (Untitled) Cat meets John Duende and the Spiderbear is a genuinely funny little strip.
Jim Medway has a gorgeous one pager simply entitled “Baby Animals falling over” which does exactly what it says it does in Jim’s gorgeously simple style. And Oli East of Trains Are … Mint gives us a wordless one page love letter to Ardwick station in his unique style:
And even on the final page you get a big stupid laugh from Mark Pearce and his Where’s Wally strip that raises a chuckle every time I see it:
The Banal Pig Landscape Anthology is one of the best anthology comics I’ve seen in a long time. There’s only a couple of strips here that don’t really work for me and overall it’s absolutely cracking stuff, varied, inventive and interesting. It does the great thing of showing me some nice stuff by people I know and pointing out some folks I had never heard of before – exactly what I want from this sort of thing. Bloody good stuff.
The Banal Pig Landscape anthology is available from the Banal Pig webstore here.