Thursday, 6 January 2011

Sugar Glider and Show & Tell Reviews

If you prefer listening to your comics reviews over reading them, head over to here and download The Sidekick Cast. within, you'll find much talk of comics, largely for a mainstream audience, and a rather pleasant review of Sugar Glider #1. The review, and podcast as a whole, brings up an interesting point, as there seems to be a lot of ill feeling towards recent comics output from the mainstream (I wouldn't know, I haven't read any Daredevil since the legendary Bendis/Maleev run), leading the comics reader to get their fix elsewhere. The Sidekick Cast suggests that Sugar Glider, with its superhero content, and small press ethics serves as a way in for mainstream readers to dip into self published comics. I certainly hope this is the case when we bring out the anthology, Sugar Glider Stories, and can introduce mainstream fans to other small press folks. Conversely, I'd like to hear what fans of indie and small press fans think of SG, as we've had good reviews largely from comics readers who favour the big two.

Show & Tell got another review this week too, at 365 zines a year, as with the previous review, Andy's half got an excellent write up, whereas my half fell by the wayside. As they say, all press is good press, and I'm certainly not going to give up making comics after a couple of poor reviews, but it has made me want to get to the bottom of why the book got such split reviews. It's definitely not down to the work jarring, Andy's work and mine really complement each other, so the answer must lie elsewhere.

I keep going back to the aims of Show & Tell, to cross promote our work, to gain new fans with work from an artist you know and an artist you don't. Like Film Four. One thing that I think prevents my half of the book from working is that my choice of strips didn't fit with the intention of the book. Andy's Madam Doreen and Big Things Hiding Behind Small Things  show off his skills as a storyteller and illustrator & master of the visual gag respectively. Those strips promote Andy's talents and give a flavour of his work. My strips serve to confuse readers who are coming fresh to the work. The Nightbus story leaves people confused rather than intrigued, neither knowing not caring who the characters are. It's a strip for fans of the Nightbus series, completists perhaps, who recognise Conrad, César and friends from issues 1 & 2 and buy into the switches from action to mundanity and vice versa. They know and understand the set up, and a reader who has never seen an issue is left wondering why the story starts in such a bizarre way, compared to the main body. Merry Fox is an unpublished work from a few years back, again, not promoting current work, but a mere bonus for fans who may want to see some of my earlier experiments with narrative.

They're not bad comics on my side of the staples in Show & Tell, but they are poor choices, given that the aim of the book was one of cross promotion.

If you want to decide for yourself, You can buy Sugar Glider here and Show & Tell here

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