Slipping past the radar was the launch last year of Gadzooks, a new, British, adult comix series from accomplished indie artist and designer J. Bramwell Slingsby, aka Bramwell.
Issue 2 is out now, and the limited edition first issue, which quickly sold out, and whose admirers include Tony Bennett at Knockabout Comics, and award-winning director and film producer Dave Thorp, has been reprinted with an improved cover.
Having totally missed this gem, I had a quick trawl through the posts on the Gadzoooks Facebook page, and there’s no doubting the level of artists that’s gone into this independent project, or the creative energy oozing from every page.
The creation of artist and writer Bramwell, Gadzooks, described by one readers as “like MAD Magazine on acid”, takes an alternative glance at modern life with surreal and satirical, weird and crazy comedy with classic hand-drawn art. The 36-page comic also features regular characters, serialised tales, guest artists and gag strips.
By channelling a whole host of artists, comic styles and themes, he has forged his own cast of regular characters to explore the weirder side of modern life.
Bramwell, grew up in the 1970s and was an avid reader of underground comix, as well as being an art student who drew his own comics. After a lifetime in the design and advertising world he’s returned to recreate a comic that celebrates the ‘golden age’ of independent comic makers.
“Concentrating on fully hand drawn content (no computers are used until the print stage) is an arduous task,” says Bramwell, “and each page can take as much as three days to complete.”
The results look magnificent. If you missed out before, then do check it out. As Bramwell himself says, “What better way for discerning adults to spend those lockdown hours?”
Alongside tie-in prints and posters, also available is 21 Years in a Photo Booth, a very personal, account of youth offering a glimpse of the transition from childhood to adulthood expressed in haircuts, and more told through passport photos, narrative and cartoons. Individually signed and limited to a first, numbered, run of just 50 copies.
• Gadzooks is also available from Travelling Man in Manchester and York