Monday, December 24, 2012

Jenny Gyllblad and Corey Brotherson comics

Now onto my second to last (or perhaps third to last?) set of comics from Thought Bubble. (Just got Gunnerkrigg Court and  the Cinebook purchases to go now).

The magnificent Clockwork Watch and Magic Of Myths.

I had my eye on these because I'm a massive fan of Jennie Gyllblad's Skal and Jenspiration. Jennie, Corey and Yomi Ayeni have created Clockwork Watch, but it is much more than just a comic.  It's a transmedia project incorporating the comic, films (I think), exhibitions, interactive theatre, role play, letters, prose stories and more.

It was a pleasure to meet the three creators, particularly after talking to them (well mostly Jennie) for so long online.

From, Clockwork Watch I bought The Arrival and the 2013 preview book.  It's a steampunk story, so the Arrival is set in the Victorian era, and starts with an Indian family coming to England.  The father is the head of Science at Calcutta University and an expert inventor.  Most of the story is told through the eyes of his young son.   The father creates a clockwork servant, and orders his son to befriend him.  Woven throughout this is a look at how the son (Janav) and his parents feel at coming to England, how Janav tries to make sense of everything, and the distrust from the public of this new technology, threatening to displace jobs and ruin livelihoods.

Jennie paints the book, all in watercolours, and her work is a mixture of high art and cartooning.  I am a massive fan of watercolours in comics, hence why I like Dustin Nyguen's work for DC.  Jennie does wonderful work.  The colours are fabulous, the faces are expressive, the layout is perfect.  the plotting is good, the lettering complements the action, the dialogue is good.  I think everybody should read this book.

The previews book contains glimpses of the Arrival, glimpses of the next comic, a closer look into Janav's family, information about live events and collaborations, and a look into how Jennie creates the art - from simple lines to the full watercolour finish.

Go buy The Arrival here!

Then there's Magic of Myths.  I'd seen Corey mention it online but didn't know too much detail about it.  Nevertheless, I picked up issue 1 and the 2013 preview.

This book is about Eve, a schoolteacher who by night (I think always at night anyway) is transported to a mythic fantasy world where she has to undergo certain ordeals, before she's let back to her own world.  It's a fairly standard trope but this feels new and modern.  Eve is black, there are no long winded fantasy speeches, no thou and thees, no posturing, no saving the world bollocks.  Eve talks like a normal person.  The art reinforces the mythic elements, especially the glorious panelling done by Sergio Calvet.  Eve's ordeals force her to consider her life thus far and force her to face herself (OK so maybe it does have things in common with other similar plots).

But if feels fresh.  It feels new and it feels engaging. The 2013 preview gives us a sneak peek of next year's volume, a prose story, fan art and some of Calvet's sketchbook.

Magic of Myths is great, nearly as good as Princeless, which is my other modern-take-on-fairytales-and-mythic-stuff-favourite-current-comic.

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