Paper Science – gorgeous newspaper chock full of comics – and it’s free.

Published On May 20, 2010 | By Richard Bruton | Comics, Reviews

Paper Science issue 2

Published by We Are Words + Pictures

Paper Science is a comic anthology newspaper by the We Are Words + Pictures collective. Think of it as a newspaper sized relative to Solipsistic Pop and you’re along the right lines. Or just take a look at that gorgeous cover by Phillipa Rice and it pretty much tells you most of what you need to know – because Paper Science is every bit the full colour, joyous explosion of comics that Rice’s cover image promises.

Contributors include many familiar names from the UK comics scene including:

Francesca Cassavetti, Joe Decie, Octavia Raitt, Becky Barnicoat, Daniel Locke, Anne Holiday, Matthew Sheret, Tom Humberstone, Luke Pearson, Adam Cadwell, Geof Banyard, Mark Oliver, Liz Lunney, Douglas Noble, Kristyna Baczynski, Anna Saunders, Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie, Sean Azzopardi, Edward Ross and Marc Ellerby.

There’s, as you might expect from that list of names, many, many great strips in the newspaper sized anthology, far too many to show you.

Familiar names to the FPI blog are there with some great work; Francesca Cassavetti’s gorgeous lines and sentimental story of her 15 year old self on a camping trip through France, the return of Ellerby’s stupidly funny penguins in Polar Opposites, Douglas Noble playing with colour in his typically complex style and Tom Humberstone’s gorgeous artwork in two tone glory illustrating a Magnetic Fields lyric.

But it’s some of the new names, or maybe new to the blog I want to point out and showcase. That in itself should give you an idea of the depth of quality that Paper Science has to offer. But first a mention of the format. The full colour newspaper form gives Paper Science a wonderfully tactile appeal – this really is something to stretch out with, to absorb and luxuriate in. The throwaway aspect of newpaper print combined with the sheer craft and artistry on display makes this something really nice.

Now, onto those examples….

Luke Pearson’s Equine Prophet is a full page of gorgeous art and wordless, worrisome story.

Octavia Raitt’s Selective Retrospective takes an interesting and very satisfyingly stylised look at a day in her life.

Daniel Locke’s highly stylised piece is so wonderfully striking, and makes such great use of the full colour page.

Fetishman’s full page of mock silhouette recognition guide is packed with funny stuff, and almost cries out to be made into a poster of it’s own.

But any anthology has to have something that stands out as special, something wonderful, hopefully something new to me, something I can grab hold of and start enjoying fresh.

And in Paper Science it’s the work of Phillipa Rice. If the beautiful cover wasn’t enough, she’s also included a strip from her webcomic My Cardboard Life. I’d heard about it, seen a couple of examples and stupidly had made note of it to go and look at when I had time. But I never seem to have enough time to investigate the webcomics I really should. So seeing her work in Paper Science really brought it home to me just how energetic, bright and enjoyable her work is:

I’ve gone and spent a while perusing past strips of My Cardboard Life now and every one of them is an absolute joy. A great concept, such a simple idea, both in story and art but carried out brilliantly, executed with joy and style.¬†Phillipa Rice – definitely someone I’ll be talking about again.

Paper Science was a fantastic idea for Free Comic Book Day, but if you didn’t manage to get hold of a copy, there’s still hope for you – We Are Words + Pictures are offering a PDF version of Paper Science on their website.

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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.

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