In Preview and Review – “It’s Cold In The River At Night” by Alex Potts

It's Cold In The River At Night - Cover

Created by Alex Potts
Published by Avery Hill Publishing
112 pages – Full Colour – £9.99

The Story: Somewhere in an isolated area of Western Europe, Carl and Rita rent a house on stilts.

Due to the pressure of spending so much time in each other’s company, cracks in their relationship start to appear. To relieve the pressure and secretly hoping to meet someone he can look up to who will take him on as an apprentice, Carl embrks on a search for the last remaining practitioner of an ancient local tradition. His quest brings him to a craftsman who is very different to the type of man he was hoping to find.

It's Cold In The River At Night - Sample Art

It's Cold In The River At Night - Sample Art

It's Cold In The River At Night - Sample Art

It's Cold In The River At Night - Sample ArtThe Review: I think that it’s a subconscious belief amongst the more neurotic members of the human race that it’ll be the small things that will eventually destroy us. The petty jealousies, the crackpot delusions that we will one day be popular, successful or even likeable.

Alex Potts is a creator that I have now met a couple of times. He has that special type of laconic and dry humour that I enjoy. It’s also that type of humour that gloriously refuses to reveal itself to the stupid.

It’s Cold…. gives the reader an example of the small-minded and impractical adult man. A person that many of us fear that we have become. Alex transplants his story into a strange and unusual world of a house on stilts, over familiar landlord and an under-appreciated girlfriend (so, maybe not that unusual then?). It has a logic of a supposed reality that is often only valuable through the life lessons and parallels it draws for us in the so-called modern and progressive world.

In saying that, It’s Cold tells us to grow up and buck up and in so doing this story is angrily and brilliantly obtuse. The spoilt modern and needy individual is laid bare in a joke of a man. We laugh at his delusions and self-centred, prattish behaviour. But along the way, it also satirically describes the state of that modern man and his feelings of insecurity and lack of worth. It is funny and telling.

And…. let’s face it, we’ve all been on that sort of holiday in some way or another…

Why the heck Mr Potts chose to tell his story in a broken down house on a river with boat shaped coffins is gloriously a loss to me as the reader. But I really enjoyed the ride it takes you on and it has a real pay off (that I won’t spoil for you).

Does the creator wish us to draw more conclusions about the nature of death or is he just taking the piss out of us?

I suspect and hope it’s a little of both.

Dreams, laughter and nightmares. Isn’t that all there is to life?

• It’s Cold In The River At Night is released by Avery Hill on the 16th November 2017. If you pre-order you can get yourself a sketched in copy. Head over to www.averyhillpublishing.bigcartel.com

• Follow Avery Hill on Twitter @AveryHillPubl

• You can find the creator at www.alexanderpotts.com or follow him on Twitter @AVPotts

John Freeman

The founder of downthetubes, John describes himself as is a “freelance comics operative”, currently working as a freelance editor for TITAN COMICS, as Creative Consultant on the new DAN DARE audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the LAKES INTERNATIONAL COMIC ART FESTIVAL and LANCASTER COMICS DAY.

John has worked in British comics publishing for over 30 years, starting out at Marvel UK, where he edited a number of the Genesis 1992 books with Paul Neary. His numerous credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine at Marvel and Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine at Titan Magazines, where he was Managing Editor.

He also edited STRIP Magazine and worked as an editor on several audio comics for ROK Comics, including TEAM M.O.B.I.L.E. and THE BEATLES STORY.

Most recently he is writing CRUCIBLE as a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and DEATH DUTY and SKOW DOGS with Dave Hailwood for the digital comic 100% Biodegradable.

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