In Review: A Place for Birds by Robbie Cathro

A PLace for Birds by Robbie Cathro - Cover

Created by Robbie Cathro
Black and White – 20 pages
A5 – £6.00

The Story: The artist waits each year for the birds to pass over her home during their migration. What will come from their visit?

A Place for Birds by Robbie Cathro - Sample Art

The Review: I met Robbie last weekend. He was actually at a table opposite mine at Thought Bubble. The weekend was a busy rush of people and comics and we grabbed a couple of moments to chat. He kindly gave me this comic during one of those conversations.

I read it this morning over the morning coffee and found a little moment of peace. And for that I thank him.

Let’s start with the cover, shall we? It is a fluid like sketch on a white card background. It shows a castle from afar. The castle sits in the countryside. The battlements are overgrown by bushes and tress. It sits there alone and solitary as two egrets approach from each side of the page. Their beaks point towards this structure. It is a minimal and ethereal image that reflects the mood and style of the rest of the book. It has a gentle style that drew me in immediately.

As the story opens, inside we see a woman sat on this structure. She has a stoic ladylike aloofness to her arched back poise and beehive coifed hair style. She wears golden hanging earrings and has strange otherworldly markings on her forehead. She sits and waits and watches the horizon for the birds to arrive.

“A CAW on the horizon is the beginning….”

As the eye of the reader scans the page, you notice bird boxes and feeder tables that she has prepared for their arrival. You realise that this is a moment that she prepares for all year long, it is the point in many ways of her life. This is a genuinely interesting and original way to guide a story that Robbie has achieved here in this short comic.

A Place for Birds by Robbie Cathro - Sample Art

Then the storm, the flock, the flurry, the charge of the birds arrive. All manner of shapes and sizes, egrets, sparrows, crows and others swarm the castle. The woman opens her sketchbook and draws them – and the reader is invited in to watch this art grow and the notations of what each species is all about. The woman is the narrator and tells us little short stories about her visitors.

But this goes beyond an observation this is contact and communication. I’ll let you read the later pages and see what you think.

I’m going to hazard a guess that Robbie has great fondness for our feathered friends. In the book he describes each species as a personality with a background based on folktales and science and he draws them with a real sense of personality.

This book is a visual poem in a lightly sketched style. It reaches out and touches the reader and grants them a few minutes of tranquility.

Grab a copy and make you day all the better for it.

• You can find aa copy at or follow the creator on Twitter @RobbieCathro

Many thanks for reading.

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