The ladies and gentlemen of the mighty Avery Hill Publishing have announced their Spring 2016 line up – and it is looking like one of their best batch of books so far.
These new books are getting a release on the annual Free Comic Book Day in London, which takes place on 7th May this year. Avery Hill have some big plans for the Day, including a launch party at Gosh Comics and appearances by a load of their stable of creators.
First out of the gate is A City Inside by the super talented Tillie Walden, and Avery Hill describe it thus:
“Shifting between the everyday and the surreal, A City Inside recounts one woman’s life, from childhood home, to the first love that she will never forget, to the creation of the idea of herself that she can grow old with and the home she can grow old in.
Eisner Award-nominated Walden’s follow-up to the lyrical I Love This Part is a poetic exploration of the process of growing older, the journey towards finding out who you are and the building of a life for yourself. It’s a universal story of how we don’t just come-of-age once, but many times throughout our lives.”
Following hot on the heels of I Love This Part, a graphic novel that we reviewed here last year, A City Inside is a book of 56 beautifully captured moments.
You’re probably tired of hearing me say this, but Tillie is a name you need to always look out for. She has the knack of finding the beauty and stillness in a captured moment that is not easily forgotten. Spellbinding and heartbreaking in a captured second.
By far my favourite cover of the bunch is this beauty by Rachael Smith for her new book Artificial Flowers.
Rachael is a great talent and a regular at comics conventions up and down the UK and beyond. Her last book The Rabbit was released to much acclaim and I can’t wait to see what this new ‘Smithsverse’ holds for us.
“Siobhan has left her hometown to try and start a career as an artist in trendy East London. Thanks to the financial support of her family she’s able to assume the lifestyle of a successful artist without having sold a single painting. She desperately needs an exhibition but nobody seems that interested in her work. When her little brother Chris’s anti-social tendencies resurface, he’s sent by his parents to stay with her as part attempt at rehabilitation and part banishment.
Soon the two discover a way that they can help each other, they just need to keep it a secret from their parents, Siobhan’s girlfriend and the rest of the London art scene…”
Rachael does work that is colourfully inciteful and full of wide-eyed innocence coupled with tellingly real moments. She is also a good egg – so buy this why don’t you!
Next up is a newcomer to the hallowed halls of Avery Mansions, Matt Swan – but also someone who has been about on the small press scene in London for a few years.
His crazily energetic Parsley Girl: Carrots is a frenetically drawn and written series that Matt has been working on for a while now. I first came across him at last year’s Safari Festival in London.
In Carrots, Parsley Girl is having a tough day. She’s just had a tooth taken out by her weird dentist, her best friend Margiotta Moonshine might be stuck in her mundane decorating job forever, her Robot Thomas is feeling obsolete, and there’s a mysterious puppy watching her every move. So it couldn’t be a worse time for a magical portal to open in her kitchen, allowing hordes of vegetable villains intent on vengeance to invade her village!
Yup. This is as gloriously nutty as you think it is. And for that reason (and a couple more) you should buy this. Get on it….no I’m not sure if she is made of ‘Parsley’, sorry.
Next and the last of this fresh crop is the new issue (Issue #4) of the Avery Hill anthology title Reads – the final issue of the current incarnation of the run, which has some great work from all involved inside.
With added sprinkles, this excellent series features work by Tim Bird, Luke Halsall, Ricky Miller, Edie OP and Own D. Pomery.
Wrapped up in another stunning cover by Eleni Kalorkoti, to kick things off is another terrifying modern fairytale from Edie OP, featuring “The Night-Time Ice Cream Man”. You’ll never eat ice cream after midnight again. Then there’s the final part of Miller and Bird’s exploration of the life of Alfred Hitchcock and the History of Film. This installment focuses on his “British Thriller Sextet” and leaves him on the verge of his triumphs in Hollywood.
Owen D. Pomery delivers the final showdown between The Megatherium Club and their scientific rival Othneil Charles Marsh, which of course involves childish swearing and nudity; and rounding off the issue is Halsall & Bird’s “The Bullpen”, a tale of professional betrayal including characters not at all based upon the three main architects of the Silver Age of comics.
Always written with style and intelligence, I’ve been following the Reads anthology throughout its life. Avery Hill is on top of the game in the UK and there are a lot of small press companies who should take some notice of their keen eye for talent and professional working practises.
Learn more about this series and those taking part here.
I have also had a little peek into some of the Avery Hill books for the rest of the year and there is some really exciting comics on their way to your eyeballs!
• If you are about in London for Free Comic Book Day on Saturday the 7th May, why not pop to the launch party for all these excellent books and meet a bunch of the creators. It is being held at Gosh Comics, 1 Berwick Street, Soho, London from 7.00pm
• The North American release of these new titles will be on the 14th May at the Toronto Comic Art Festival
Many thanks for reading!