The Book: Everyone has a story to tell, this is the continuing story of ‘Dave’. Like all of us, he tries to make sense of his life, memories of a turbulent past bring both tragedy and comedy together in one of the best graphic albums you’ll read this year.
The Review: When your day has been blessed by an email from veteran comics writer David Motton (86 years young), it’s pretty hard to find something to top that. So while this review may not top that, it is certainly the equal of being contacted by an admired contributor to the wealth of our British comic tradition.
Firstly, let’s get an apology to my friend Richard Pester (formerly known as Dave Gordon) out of the way. Richard has been publishing his Cosmic Oddity series over the last few years and while I absolutely love Richard’s art, I have deliberately been avoiding the comic as I hate to tell pals that their comics are not up to par for one reason or another.
So it was with some trepidation I decided to read Volume 3 of the Cosmic Oddity series, before I set off to participate in Day 2 of Edinburgh Comic Con.
I shouldn’t have been so worried. I was immediately sold on the art, as Richard has been previously described as the Milo Manara of British Comics before now. As I read the story, I was impressed by the tightness of scripting and the flow of the art. The flow and the tightness were so good that I had to finish the comic first, then call Richard to ask who had edited the script.
CNN: “So who was the editor?”
RAP: “I was the scripter and editor.”
CNN: “Seriously? Get tae!”
RAP: “Aye, it’s all mine. Lesley has helped on proof-reading but that’s about it.”
That really surprised me, as many artists I know struggle to keep a script on point.
Cosmic Oddity is based on Richard’s experiences of growing up as an adopted kid in 1970s Scotland. Reading it, I am laughing hard as I experience being back in that time again. Then I turn the page – and suddenly I am deep in the pain that Richard experienced, being palmed off to the first family that seems OK.
This comic pulls no punches on how it felt to be unwanted or unloved and walks us through his journey from being an unwanted adoptee to finding his biological family. It also takes you through the self-loathing that you experience as you go through the metamorphosis of moving from one identity to another.
This is a project well worth your attention.
• If you want to bug Richard for back copies of Cosmic Oddity, then he is available on Facebook. Don’t be as foolish as I was to ignore Issues 1 and 2