Best of the Year 2014: Joe Decie

Published On December 19, 2014 | By Joe Gordon | Best of the Year 2014, Comics

Moving on with the third week of our daily guest Best of the Year tradition (see here for the other posts so far), and today’s guest, Joe Decie, has kept us reading with his online work and his Blank Slate collection The Accidental Salad, and we’re very much looking forward to his forthcoming longer-form comics work. Let’s see what he’s been enjoying in 2014:

FPI: Can you pick three comics/webcomics/graphic novels which you especially enjoyed over the last twelve months and tell us why you singled them out?

Joe:  Beautiful Darkness (by Fabien Vehlmann, Kerascoet) is horrific and my favourite book this year. I urge everyone to read it. Treat yourself.

beautiful darkness Vehlmann & Kerascoet 03

Tom Hand (by WJC) is pretty great. I think Warwick’s line is fantastic and his drawings are such fun. I sat next to him whilst he drew that book. Imagine what that did for my self confidence, watching him, apparently effortlessly knocking out page after brilliant page. To be honest with you, a lot of comics I find pretty uninspiring, stale. Not this this one, it’s a good little story, told so well. I hope we get to see more stuff both written and drawn by Warwick next year, coz it’s always a pleasure.

tom hand warwick j cadwell

I’ve really enjoyed Stephen Collins’s weekly strip in The Guardian (some collected in the recent Some Comics). It’s like he has the ability to steal my ideas before I’ve thought of them, then tell them better than I could. It’s always excellent, but I especially like it when they get a bit weird. I don’t buy the paper, I’m awful at reading papers. I like the idea of it, but in reality they just end up in the recycling, unread.

buzzfeed moses stephen collins some comics

FPI: Can you pick three books which you especially enjoyed over the last twelve months and tell us why you singled them out?

Joe:  Oliver and The Seawigs (by Philip Reeve, Sarah McIntyre) was one that me and my boy read together. We read every night and most of the books he chooses are generic nonsense (just take a look at a Beast Quest book if you don’t believe me) But this story was lovely, really good pace and, of course, wonderfully illustrated throughout.

oliver seawigs Philip Reeve Sarah McIntyre

Capture Creatures (by Becky Dreistadt and Frank Gibson) is another book that the whole family can enjoy. Becky’s painting is so good, I’m in absolute awe of it. We dip into this lovely collection and read a few of the creatures at a time. It’s a real treasure.

In The Kitchen With Alain Passard (by Christophe Blain) I love fancy food. I love cheap crap food too, but I really enjoy the fancy stuff. My cousin used to cook at Heston Blumenthal’s Fat Duck, and once, we went and ate there. It’s just so good, to eat food beyond what you could make at home, a real experience and so amazingly expensive. Anyway Alain Passard’s book is great, the way he approaches a dish, his ethos, his passion, it’s such fun. It made me too hungry, I could only read it in doses but yep, great. Also, you know, only illustrated by Christophe Blain!

FPI: Can you pick three TV shows and/or movies which you especially enjoyed over the last twelve months and tell us why you singled them out?

Joe:  I don’t watch very much telly. And genereally only get to go to the cinema when acompanying my boy (6).

Oh, I tell you what I did enjoy, The Trip to Italy. Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon, I think they’re brilliant. The way the story presents as real life, only to take you off into fiction is something I very much admire and wish I could do better. This summer we went to Amalfi, same as in the programme. The food is lush. I could have spent the whole week at the counter of the local deli.

Over The Garden Wall. Beautifully, exquisitely drawn with such amazing characters, this show ah, was just a joy to watch. I’m so envious of how Patrick McHale, Nick Cross et al managed to capture a mood, and pull you in. Plus that potatoes and molasses song, prettying cute. Looking it up on wikipedia just now, seems quite a few of my internet friends worked on that show. Good work guys.

20000 Days by Nick Cave was good. If you have even a passing interest in Nick Cave I think you’ll like it. I do like Nick Cave, so I liked it. It’s set here, where I live, I liked that too (although there were a few continuity errors that distracted me) Like The Trip, this is another bit of autobiography mixed with fiction and they use some great plot devices to tell the tale. People talked to me like they’d thought it was all genuine, But I say nah, it’s a story. I find that fascinating, the story telling.

FPI: How did 2014 go for you as a creator? Are you happy with the way you got your work out this year?

Joe: I haven’t had much to show for this year, but it’s been great. I’m pretty much working full time on comics, but worrying less about putting them on the internet all the time, It basically means I’m spending more time playing and learning. Unfortunately I’m not making mega bucks.

prolific thinker comic joe decie

This year’s shows for me, were ace. TCAF was the best yet I’d say. ELCAF was so busy and I met some lovely people. LICAF was so much fun, I did the 24 hour comic there and had a ball. Then TBubz last month was a joy as always. I really enjoy the company of comics drawing people, they are good people.

FPI: What can we look forward to from you in 2015?

Joe: Big things in the pipeline, all going well. I hope to spend time on a new longish story – Collecting Sticks. I also have plans to do some special stuff for comic festivals. I’ll be around, you’ll see me.

 FPI: Anyone you think is a name we should be watching out for next year?

Mickey Zacchilli RAV youth in decline comics
(Mickey Zacchilli’s RAV from Youth in Decline)

Joe:  My money is on Breakdown Press, Peow! Studio, Retrofit, Youth In Decline, obviously Koyama, Donya Todd, Disa Wallander, Becca Tobin. Oh and Daniel Locke, he’s working on something brilliant.

death and the girls donya todd
(a page from Death and the Girls by Donya Todd)

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About The Author

Joe Gordon
Joe Gordon is's chief blogger, which he set up in 2005. Previously, he was professional bookseller for over 12 years as well as a lifelong reader and reviewer, especially of comics and science fiction works.

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