Edited by Gary Clap and Kirk Campbell
I was fortunate enough to get to review the last issue of this anothology series and that was pretty darn good – but I am pleased to say that this release – a square bound book with 43 seperate stories – is another step again in terms of upping the quality stakes.
An anthology is a difficult thing to get right but this is packed full of some really interesting stories. It doesn’t really have a central theme (apart from a recurring commentary on the overuse of smart-phones) but it flows well and can be read in just about one sitting. At around 100 pages however it is nearer a trade paperback size than a single issue.
I decided to pick a couple of my personal favourites out.
‘Le Crime Parfait’ by David Ziggy Greene
This is a gorgeously illustrated story about a criminal conspiracy that involves a bag of prunes, animal masks and a hole on a golf course. With minimal dialogue, it looks great and has a really funny turn to its ending. I particularly liked the opening nine panel grid (as above). Cheeky and brilliant stuff from the Private Eye (and beyond illustrator).
You can find Ziggy at his website www.samu.co.uk and on Twitter @sahreports. His recent book Scene & Heard: Illustrated Snapshots of Modern Life, published last year, is well worth a look and can be found at all good bookshops.
‘God vs Hipsters’ by Andres Gonzalez
Ah. Hipstercide. How you are creeping into our collective consciousness these days. This is a fun two page story that I had to include after a recent stroll through trendy East End of London, full of beards, brown shoes, tapered cords and poker-dot shirts. Worth the entry fee for the anthology (in a slightly wicked way) on its own in my humble opinion.
Lets all make mix-tapes!
‘Butt Dialled’ by Kevin Loftus
This is a great little scratchy black and white story that takes the idea that your butt actually will call you on purpose and warn you of foul (not like that) happenings. A great horror(ish) story that may involve an axe.
If only all our butts were this interesting…
‘Afterlife’ by James Wragg
This is the second to last strip in the book and combines ancient Egyptian death and mysticism with ‘Two for one pizza Tuesdays’. It looks great and on a design level, is glorious in black and white, with angular panels full of light and shadow. Death and banal urban living sit side by side. A really excellent way to end this anthology.
I would be remiss without mentioning some other worthy strips. Elizabeth Querstret has a short two pager that deals with her anxiety at first meetings with people. The ever excellent Claude T.C. and Kyle Gerdes occupy the books back cover with a story about historical figures and how their penises can often be mistaken for animals after death (I’ll let you read it for a fuller explanation?)
If this book is any example, then I fully expect volume 5 to be delivered by truck to my house later this year! It’s a great anthology full of talented comics people and is of a high quality. This sets the bar very high for a lot of books yet to be released..
• The Dirty Rotten Comics team will be appearing at The Alternative Press Takeover on the 9th of May at 47-49 Tanner Street, London, SE1 3PL and DIY Cultures on the 24th of May at 35-37 Bethnal Green Road, London, E1 6LA
Many thanks for reading.