Richard here – As I was putting my own review of Solipsistic Pop to bed the other day, Kenny Penman (Blank Slate publisher) was putting his own Solipsistic Pop 3 review together during his tea break – except he decided that he’d do it via Twitter.
More than anything else, it’s fascinating to see two different readings of the book, a perfect illustration of the nature of anthology books, and how reviews are simply opinion pieces and opinions can, and should, differ. Some that I just didn’t get, Kenny loved, some that Kenny just didn’t like, I rather loved. That’s exactly how it should be.
With his permission, we’ve collected it all together, the only additions we’ve made have been to add in complete artist names and strip titles. Everything else is Kenny’s own……
Artists: Krystina Baczynski, Becky Barnicoat, Adam Cadwell, Warwick Johnson Cadwell, Francesca Cassavetti, Faz Choudry, David O’Connell, Daryl Cunningham, Rob Davis, Joe Decie, John Cei Douglas, Marc Ellerby, Sarah Gordon, Anne Holiday, Tom Humberstone, Daniel Locke, Lizz Lunney, Mark Oliver, Luke Pearson, Octavia Raitt, Edward Ross, Philippa Rice, Anna Saunders, Julia Scheele, Tom Smith and Andrew Waugh.
Edited by Tom Humberstone.
Finished Solopsistic Pop 3 last night – thought i’d tweet review it for my tea break. Time to lose all my comics friends…
SP3 – Overall much better than 1 or 2 Tom’s mag shows a decent progression but with each issue gets further away from it’s mission statement
SP3 – Production is nice – colour print on the front is lovely – some issues with pinch on a number of strips where they fall tight to gutter
SP3 – Still think overall it’s too expensive – planet saving earth and paper accounted for – still, personally could do without the extras
SP3 – Marc Ellerby’s Chloe Noonan strip – can see the all-ages appeal – i imagine kids will love it. I like it well enough
SP3 – Adam Cadwell’s strip – is slight in conception – a day out with his dad – but the Beano/Dandy homage stylings are great. Liked it
SP3 – A Joke by Tom Smith – rhyme seems forced – read out loud to kids I can imagine them liking it. Visually I thought it a little weak
SP3 – Anna Saunders strip – didn’t really get it at all. Move on
SP3 – Joe Decie’s Fabulous Find, more absurdist than most of his more familiar grounded in family work -felt a bit overstretched -lovely art
SP3 – Darryl Cunnigham – 3 strips i’d seen before (I think) – all slight compared to current work but all charming and kids will like a lot
SP3 – Rob Davis – The Torturer’s Garden (above) – most mature strip here. Beautifully drawn – seeing childhood from a position of fear rather then happiness. Quite scary
SP3 – Rob Davis cont. – showing fear perpetuating fear and leaves us with a cliffhanger which might fry a few childrens brains. Fabulous
SP3 – Philippa Rice – her stuff is lovely – although a little diminished without it’s usual colours. Can only imagine kids love this.
SP3 – Philippa Rice cont. you get colour Philippa with the free poster and stickers. Her work just makes me want drawing rather than collage
SP3 – John Cei Douglas – Living Underwater- lovely art – a story of redemption that only felt part way redemptive – this might have kids hiding away in cupboards
SP3 – Molly Vs The Undertaker – I thought this one of the failures – the story is way overtold and text heavy – the art doesn’t really help
SP3 – Molly Vs The Undertaker – the characters don’t feel unique – dad could be brother – story is too intricate. Criticises boredom but is boring.
SP3 – Teething Problems – lightweight – a little repetitive but charming and very nicely drawn. Twist expected but still fun
SP3 – The Derby Ram is an overall strong piece – strong drawing and a decent tale well told. Liked it.
SP3 – All the Dogs – something we’ve all done I’m sure. The art is a bit Strapazin – I liked it – a lot wont.
SP3 – Pinball Wizards – an artists version of doing scales. Francesca draws very well but 2 pages of variation on a theme feels like filler
SP3 -Faz Choudray’s strip uses the 1 colour so well it has the feel of a full colour strip. Well done and presumably quite time consuming
SP3 -Faz Choudray’s cont. – it’s also beautifully drawn somewhere between Ligne Claire and the Beano. I can imagine this as an album. Great
SP3 – Lizz Lunney – Lizz’s stuff always comes across with life affirming happiness. It’s infectious – and it’s what it is. enjoy it for that
SP3 – Sardines is OK – the art is ambitious but perhaps not yet fully formed. the experience one many kids may have had.
SP3 – Magic and the Man – nicely designed – borrows a centre piece from Gustave Verbeek – as a strip i didn’t think it worked really though.
SP3 – Mark Oliver – Mark is beginning to design a page i can read , still find that either this is wilfully absurdist or storytelling amiss
SP3 – Luke Pearson – The Egg – is clearly a rising star – a nice little tale with an ending that had me thinking Velvet Underground – not sure why
SP3 – Luke Pearson cont. the drawing is strong though just sometimes the design conceits make the story flow less well than it might. Ex tho
SP3 – Julia Scheele has a good line in autobio vignettes -this is another and it feels real. For me her drawing chops still don’t match text
SP3 – Have You Swung Over The Top? -lovely art by Tom Humberstone -who improves all the time. And we’ve all seen kids do it or tried it right. Liked this
SP3 – Fruits DelaMer – Warwick Jackson Cadwell throws the kitchen sink at this – lines flying everywhere – great painterly techniques on the shading.
SP3 – Fruits DelaMer cont. The story is 1 note but fun. I imagine read to kids will bring lots of interaction. they’ll love the ironic ending.
SP3 – David O’Connell’s spare lines make this very attractive – the story does seem a long trip to the final panel pay off – good though
SP3 – Not to damn with faint praise SP3 is VERY good for the most part. It doesn’t all work but which anthology does?
SP3 – Also nice to see more comics content. I’d like to see Tom give up the ‘gimmick’ go hardcover and make this an annual Best UK Comics.
SP3 – Not as good as MOME – way better than other UK anthologies . Overall 7/10. I’d recommend a look if you have £12 burning a hole…
SP3 – Thank you – back to work now. Good job Tom.