Simon M’s Lisbon – simple travelogue comic, beautiful travelogue comic
by Simon M
Lisbon is Simon M’s travelogue diary comic of a trip to Lisbon, drawn from photo references from his “better half” Becky when he returned home.
It’s similar to his other works – often single images per page, very few obvious panels, a gentle, fine line that I really enjoy. But the actual words he’s used to illustrate his trip are the difference here. In his previous works it’s always been fairly down to earth stuff with occasional lyrical moments but here in Lisbon, obviously very much in love with the moment, Becky and the city itself, his words take on a poetic bent, descriptive yet beautifully lyrical.
Take this first passage:
“We pass over the vapour trails left by other planes, gossamer cables passing the level crossings seen from trains. Clouds look like Arctic islands and I can imagine a world under the sea.”
(Apologies to Simon for this, to get the images to work here, I had to crop viciously. In the actual comic these two beautiful pages sit opposite each other with a far bigger section of blank space, far better than the image above.)
You begin to get the idea? It could have been overly lyrical, could have been cloying and sickly sweet. But Simon M keeps it just enough in check to paint a very beautiful, lyrical, poetic portrait of a city and his thorough enjoyment of being there; from the post flight beer, to the everyday foreign scenes, sightseeing, the buildings, the streets, the people he meets along the way.
It’s absolutely lovely, simply done, naturalistic storytelling and it really makes me hanker to see Simon M get stuck into something far more substantial, his style, his invention and his tone all press all the right buttons for me. Someone give him some cash to go away and make longer form comics. Please?
The only thing really wrong with Lisbon? The cover. It’s really no indicator of the delights inside.