By Rozi Hathaway
Publisher: Good Comics
The Book: A collection of short stories about love and longing… if you’ve ever been in a crowd, felt the ache of absence, or looked for meaning ion the constellations, then this collection will speak to you.
The Review: It’s not often that a piece of art touches you in in such a profound way. I speak as a cynical forty something who, up until 21st March this year, hadn’t really found a gem in the small press and was worried that it was sitting back in its collective armchair ready for retirement. This comic changed my mind and did so with grace and a gentle whisper.
A moment can change your mind and your attitude. A moment can hurt you, a moment can inspire you, a moment can change everything. Cosmos & Other Stories is a comic full of stories that examine those private, unseen moments that we all experience without the gaze of others, and Rozi Hathaway proves that comics are a powerful instrument when it comes to illustrating them.
Rozi describes these moments in her stories, both big and small in their impact on the lives of ordinary people, as “about love and longing” – but I would add the word loneliness. In these solitary heartbreaking moments, she shows us stories that broke this reader’s heart (just a little).
I have intentionally not recounted the narratives in these short stories, as they are indeed short and to do so would spoil. But the art is very worthy of comment: an experimental style full of loose pencils and flashes of colour, adding a definite poetry to each line in a way that should be explored more often in our world.
Characters are represented as ghostly images, wandering this landscape and thinking, always thinking and Rozi also uses colours in way that plays with our preconceptions. The red of a sky or building line as the cold weather settles into view is a lovely addition that makes you watch the page like it is a moving canvas.
Good art rents a room in your consciousness. Really good art plants roots in your subconscious. Cosmos & Other Stories is a piece of art does this – and also enables you to step out of your rush, rush, dopamine-fueled day and rest happy in a second of time. The one you could be in now if you were reading this book; that is, simply put, the effect it has had on me.
This is a book that I guarantee you will reread and enjoy. You may also shed a tiny tear.
Many thanks for reading.
Antony Esmond is a comic reviewer and writer – his hips don’t lie.