Desert Island Comics Episode 40 – Paul Harrison-Davies

Published On December 22, 2012 | By Richard Bruton | Comics, Desert Island Comics

Desert Island Comics continues, this time we’ve made it a little seasonal. By which I mean we’ve added one bit of tinsel to the box containing the 8 comics chosen by the castaway, currently realising that, just as Mud foresaw, it’s gonna be lonely this Christmas…..

This week it’s artist Paul Harrison-Davies who lies wailing on a beach until he sees that the list he made for this very feature is pinned to a box in the sand. And inside, why it’s 8 fantastic comics. Paul is a busy, busy man; writer, artist, studying to be a primary school teacher… this island may well be a relief! You’ll have seen Paul’s work in Nelson (above and explained here) maybe caught sight of his Paint Girl or Astro Dog characters here on the blog, and he’s recently been playing with fingerpainting apps… from which this ABC Warriors piece:

But enough about the artist, what about his choices….. here we go then:

Desert Island Comics – Episode 40 – Paul Harrison-Davies

Love & Rockets by Los Bros Hernandez

I don’t suppose I have to go into much detail why I’d want a Love and Rockets run, or collection. I started getting it sometime in the low teens when I was in my teens and it opened me up to a different world of comics. I don’t think of the cast as characters, I think of them as people.

Non – anthology curated by Jordan Crane

This seems like a smart anthology choice, if I go for issue 5 I get to have some work by a few great creators, Jordan Crane, James Kochalka and especially Greg Cook. Cook’s V stories are just a beautiful combination of whimsy and melancholy that I find irresistible. There really is plenty in this issue as it’s actually a box set of 3 books.

The Spirit by Will Eisner

Eisner needs no introduction, and I fall into the camp of people who think of The Spirit as his best work, no disrespect to some of the great later work. Funny, exciting, character drive, plot led experimental solidly told… they just press so many buttons. A lot of the reason I picked Eisner could be easily aimed at Kurtzman, but there’s just more Eisner work, and he drew more of it. Kurtzman may have used incredible artists, but they weren’t Kurtzman.

Yotsuba by Kiyohiko Azuma

It’s so much fun and it’s impossible to be miserable if you have a copy of Yotsuba to hand. Plus I’d miss my daughter on the island so having Yotsuba around would be the next best thing.

Halo Jones by Alan Moore and Ian Gibson

Halo Jones is my Alan Moore choice, but it’s doubling up as my 2000ad choice. People talk about Moore’s ideas or clever structure, or even if he has any ideas of his own. Me, I love how he creates people you care about. He did the same with The Reversible Man and The Time Machine for 2000ad, the idea was less important than it’s effect on the person. Getting to know the cast of Halo was a privilege and reuniting with them as I grew up was insightful. There’s so much I could’ve picked from 2000ad, it had a run of brilliance through a chunk of the 80s that is hard to beat. And, let’s face it, there’s a lot more Moore I could’ve picked.

Things Just Get Away From You by Walt Holcombe

A great lost talent as far as I’m concerned. I’m sure he’s doing fine, in animation I believe, but Prince of Persia blew me away. There’s a warmth and poetry to it that I wish I could emulate. Poot showed Holcombe was just going to get better, and then it stopped. At least the Fantagraphics collection, Things Just Get Away From you, means I can take it all to the island.

Hutch Owen by Tom Hart

I’ve no idea why Top Shelf have yet to release the 3rd book, but I wish they would. Tom Hart’s work is wonderful and Hutch nails a certain kind of comic that started appearing round the late 90s that Holcombe’s is a part of. Hart’s latest work is utterly heartbreaking, but also incredibly compelling.

McConey by Lewis Trondheim

I picked McConey as it was the first of his work I encountered and I fell in love immediately, it was so warm and witty, and quickly became one of my favourite Euro-comics, which is saying something when you consider the competition. I love the two McConey books so much I’m still slightly annoyed they didn’t sell enough for more to be translated.

I’ve hit my limit, but I have to give honourable mention to Glenn Dakin, mainly because I love all his comics, as well as many other Fast Fiction creators, but also as I think he ties several of my other choices together.


Others have already pointed out you could probably draw with stuff on the island so I’ll take my banjo which I’ve never really had time to practice.

Like this Article? Share it!

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.

Comments are closed.