This I received at BICS back in September, but posting it now, with a title like October Anthology, just makes me look lazy. Honest, I’m not, I’m just crawling out from under a pile of reviews that’s positively scary.
Anyway, The October Anthology is a collection of strips by Irish and Irish based comic artists. And it’s an eclectic mix of short strips. Full of different styles, but all in all, a little lacking.
I just found myself reading through and seeing some good little bits, the odd flash of something good, a few good lines of dialogue, a nice plot idea – but nothing wow.
In fact, I rather thought I’d read the best the anthology had to offer in the opener by Cliodhna Lyons – a great little 4 pager on star gazing and low flying aircraft that would have been the best thing in the comic if not for something really fantastic I’ll show you right at the end.
Clioodhna’s style is very now, very easy on the eye and she’s an ear for dialogue and conversation that marked this strip out as a great opener:
(Cliodhna Lyons’ untitled strip from The October Anthology)
And whilst I’m talking about Cliodhna, she also thrust a couple of lovely little mini comics into my hands at BICS; “3” and “Cheap Thrills“. Both of which are well worth casting a glance over – luckily she’s got them up on her site, and in a really nicely done coloured form as well.
Classy, simple storytelling and a simple gag – really, really nice stuff:
(Two mini strips from Cliodhna Lyons – left: Cheap Thrills, right: 3. Brilliant little bits of cartooning)
Following that, the strips are alright but nothing to really catch the eye. I was resigned to being a little underwhelmed by the whole thing. Until I got to the final couple of strips – Hilary Lawler’s cutesy manga-esque style and a throwaway story of a girl and her dog under misguided ninja attack raised my spirits:
(Don’t answer the door – it’s bound to be those bloody ninjas – from Hilary Lawler.)
And then I get to nearly the final strip in The October Anthology and, without expecting it – am absolutely bowled over by Luke F’s “The Five Day Love Affair Between Mary Flynn and Mr Fly“.
It’s such a change of pace, such a different art style to everything that’s gone before it that it practically leapt off the page and screamed LOVE ME in my face. So I did. I hope you do too.
It’s a bloody lovely six pages of scratchy, ridiculous storytelling, artistically my absolute favourite thing in The October Anthology, no matter how much I enjoyed Cliodhna’s stuff, this makes me really happy and excited. Luke F I want to see much more of.
(A fantastic end to the anthology – Luke F’s Mary Flynn and Mr Fly)