Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Old comics & influences, part 2

Instead of doing ACTUAL comic work, I'll write another one of these.

I promised to tell you about my favourite graphic novel ever. That would be Bryan Talbot's The Tale Of One Bad Rat. His magnum opus is The Adventures Of Luther Arkwright, but I feel Bad Rat really doesn't get the credit it deserves. I never see it mentioned in discussions of graphic novels, and I never see it on anyone's "top ten" lists. Ever. Despite a recent deluxe hardcover reprint edition. Come ON. You've got no excuse, people. Go out and read this comic NOW.

Bad Rat concerns a young girl named Helen, who runs away from home to the English Lake District fleeing sexual abuse at the hands of her father. In the end she meets a couple who take her under their wing and give her a job in their pub, and she finds the strength to stand up to her father. This story accomplishes everything that a good story should: It explores a serious issue with grace and authority, it is populated by well-developed characters (the one that drew me in initially was Ben, the Geordie street musician), and it is sad, powerful and moving. Bryan Talbot also knows when to let the drawings communicate the story without text...and oh HOW they communicate...

Reading this comic was a huge revelation for me, on the level of "Comics can do THIS? Why didn't anyone tell me comics could do THIS?!" I really do suggest you read it for yourself because I can't even put into words all the reasons I love it. When you're finished reading Bad Rat, also check out Grandville, Talbot's anthro steampunk detective story - it's a lot of fun...


Speaking of fun, my second comic was not GRIMDARK serious like New Edge and was only drawn for fun. It was called These Days, and it concerned Ian Curtis returning from the dead and running around present-day Manchester, accompanied by Mark E. Smith. Yes, REALLY. You can read the whole comic in its entirety online here (as much as we completed - myself and my co-writer), if you feel so inclined. Uhh...but be warned, it's very stupid. A lot of people seemed to enjoy it though, so...stupid in a good way. Sure.

Next: my largest current influences. Also, the story of an obnoxious wizard and his even more obnoxious "friends," battling an ancient god named after a record producer.

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