August is over now. Do you remember what the best comics were? Nah, me neither. So I always like to look back over the past month of reviews and highlight some of the really great works deserving of your attention (not to mention cash)…
For a start I’d be utterly remiss if I didn’t mention just how rich a vein of form both the monthly Judge Dredd Megazine and 2000AD itself have found recently. The Meg has two genuinely excellent strips in Lawless by Abnett and Winslade, and Demon Nic by the wonderful Paul Grist, whilst 2000AD just finished the brilliant Titan trilogy from Rob Williams and Henry Flint.
(Lawless – Dan Abnett and Phil Winslade)
(Dredd: Enceladus – Rob Williams and Henry Flint)
As for other things, well the standout thing for the month really has to be Rachael Smith’s The Rabbit (Avery Hill Publishing).
Her work’s always impressed since I first saw it, but this is another step up, a graphic novel of growing up, dealing with rich, escapist fantasy and the harsh reality behind it all. It’s the tale of two young girls, on the run, who happen across a little, cute rabbit. But this cute little rabbit doesn’t stay cute for long, growing bigger, and nastier, manipulative and cunning. It’s a powerful, clever, multi-layered work, where a relatively simple plot disguises a complex set of ideas and difficult emotions.
(Rachael Smith – The Rabbit, published by Avery Hill)
And finally, a couple of individual stories from a couple of anthology collections. Because although it’s good to be able to show you lots of great comics, it’s also a real privilege to be able to throw some great young artists your way.
First… Maths by Kim Clements (from A Bit Of Undigested Potato, edited by Keara Stewart). Just two-pages of beautiful dream imagery, taking something simple, a minor fear, and escalating things, as happens in dreams to a nightmarish cacophony of hateful voices. It’s a great thing and I’ll be looking out for much more of Clements’ work in future.
(Maths by Kim Clements)
And finally for this month… MRI Scan by Jess Milton (from Dirty Rotten Comics, edited by Gary Clap and Kirk Campbell), another really short piece, just 4-pages, just 4-images, all about a woman going in for her MRI, headphones on, just a collection of thoughts, music moments, an itchy nose. But the art is superb, the facial expressions a sheer delight. I still see loads of Jaime Hernandez in here, and that’s never been a bad thing.