Radio On is an wonderful cornucopia of an anthology of music-related comic stories, published by North East-based The Analogue Press and the fourth issue is out this week (9th March 2018), wrapped in a striking cover by Anthony Downie.
I met editor Rob Carter back in 2015 at the Lakes International Comic Art Festival, when the project was in its early days. The focus of the title is on exploring and appreciating music in all its disparate forms, whilst at the same time showcasing work from exciting local, national and international cartoonists.
Alongside established creators, Radio On prides itself on including work from talented individuals who inexplicably have not had their comics in print previously.
It’s great to see the title doing so well, beautifully designed by Matthew Tye, with a terrific line up of creators and very different art styles throughout- exactly what you’d expect given the strips inspirations.
The music-inspired, 36-page A5 comic will have a launch party at the Town Wall pub in Newcastle on the same day from 7.00pm, featuring an acoustic performance from Mama Lips, who also contributes a story to the new comic.
There are seven stories in total, the most bumper crop yet:
Joel Benjamin is a regular illustrator for Vice and previously provided the cover image for Broadcast #1. He returns for the new issue to talk about his love for Gerry Rafferty’s stone cold jazz-rock classic ‘Baker Street’.
Neil McKenzie and Bob Turner provide some insights into the final hours of soul singer Sam Cooke in their story ‘How Sam’s Goose Got Cooked’.
Emily Rose Lambert returns, having previously contributed to the second issue, both stories taking their inspiration from folklore. This issue’s tale is “The Song of The Armadillo”. (This story is probably my favourite of the issue – I love both the line work and story, both beautiful and poignant in equal measure)
Darrell Thorpe (aka Forpe) meanwhile continues his ascent to the upper echelons of the UK small press comic scene, offering a truly psychedelic, stunningly realised journey in search of an elusive, inspired idea, spurred on by an awesome playlist. This is so wild, it might rip your eyeballs.
Rounding out the issue, Mama Lips reveals their love of/obsession for Springsteen’s ‘Nebraska’, in a tale with which surely every music fan can sympathise; while Luke Halsall and Nick Gonzo, from Madius Comics, let us in on what a certain Labour leader gets up to in his spare time.
Also on offer is a lovely, pointed story from Kit Palmer, who provides us with Radio On‘s longest story yet, “Caring is Creepy”. This smashing story explores the tortures and delights of arriving at a gig in time for the support bands.
For me, this was a really enjoyable tale offering a well paced script perfectly complemented by terrific art. Definitely a talent I’ll be looking out for more of.
I haven’t featured art from every story as some are one page stories and hey, you need a reason to find out more, right? Settle back with some of your favourite tunes, peel back the cover and, like me, thoroughly enjoy!
• Radio On – Strange Tales of Ink & Sound Issue Four Radio will be published on 9th March2018, priced £4 and available from theanaloguepress.bigcartel.com | Details of the launch party at the Town Wall pub in Newcastle here on Facebook
• Check Out The Analogue Press at www.theanaloguepress.co.uk