Cover by Mhairi Hislop and Gill Hatcher
Edited by Gill Hatcher
Team Girl Comic are a Glasgow collective of women and girl cartoonists that operates an open door policy to contributors. Which is why this issue feels somewhat like a fanzine. And there, that’s the problem. It’s simply too full of comics that just don’t really work that well.
I’ve never had a problem with comics that have simplistic or rough and raw artwork. And Team Girl make it quite clear that quality of the artwork is not a factor in choosing material for inclusion – this is all about embracing an idea, to get more women and girls into comics.
And it’s a good philosophy. But it does mean that some of the artists here just aren’t good enough. Some maybe just need to go away and make more comics, get better at it. Some maybe never will make the grade. But in the end, what Team Girl Comic is really lacking is good ideas. Poor execution can be forgiven, but there’s just not enough good ideas in here to make it good.
Here’s a few of those that did catch my eye though…..
(That three panel sequence in Jesty Pesty that really impressed. By Gill Hatcher)
One of the best in here, both in terms of execution and concept is Jesty Pesty by Gill Hatcher. Essentially a nothing tale of simple babysitting trouble, it’s really nicely done, nice touch of comedy and there’s a lovely three panel sequence of introspection where she does great things with body language. This I’d really like to see more of.
(Laura Armstrong – Opposite Sides)
Completely the other end of the artistic spectrum is the crude line drawing of Laura Armstrong’s Opposite Sides.
But like I said, the polish of the art is never the thing, and Armstrong’s art certainly has its faults but the idea of a human versus robot war and one girl caught in the middle does a lot in just four short pages.
(Nando – Boris)
Nondo’s Boris is just as simple, but ditches a story for just a simple one page vignette of getting rid of a spider. What makes it worthwhile is Nondo’s artwork. Again, very rough, but there’s enough here, just something attractive and promising about her line.
(Karena Moore – Paws Please)
Paws Please by Karena Moore has a sweet idea – a dog confused about who takes her for walkies – and the subsequent problems of hunting down the “Magic Boots”. Again, not perfect art by any means but the execution works, the flow over the page guided by a lead is a neat touch and more than anything else it’s just a fun, simple idea that fun to read.
I applaud Team Girl Comic. I support the ideas they’re working towards. I accept that the work in the comic is by young, raw artists. And that’s why I feel like a heel to do a review that’s so critical of their work. But in my opinion there’s just too much material in here that’s much too weak. It might be just a matter of having a bad issue, it might simply be that I’m wrong – other readers will no doubt enjoy other material and hate the ones I’ve highlighted.
But I’d like to see issue 4 with a tighter policy of inclusion, to make an anthology that really does represent a best of Team Girl, rather than an anything by Team Girl.