One of the things about the Web is that as it’s expanded, more often than not you come across stuff as if it’s new, when it actually isn’t. This is particularly true of social media such as tumblr, where stuff I post there – a sort of “Things I Like” channel, rather than generally focusing on some kind of British comics angle to news items, as on downthetubes – suddenly gets rediscovered months after it was first posted and takes on a new life as it’s re-blogged. It’s like we’re all now involved in some giant time loop… but in a good way.
For me, the arrival of digital comics is having a similar effect when it comes to my discovery of some great independently-published comics. For example, this week, I chanced on some gorgeous-looking work by Brighton-based artist and writer Daniel Bell and friends. Daniel has independently published several comics, and released the second edition of his ongoing project, Psircus, which he launched back 2012, back in January. The book passed me by completely then, but I’d like to draw your attention to it now, rather belatedly, because I’m not alone in feeling it deserves it…
In Psircus, Kathy and Icarus are two girls with psi-powers, and the first issue of the comic offered three short tales – two ‘origin’ type stories and a joint mission. “What I thought was handled particularly well was Bell’s control of his storyline,” noted Richard Bruton on the Forbidden Planet blog in his fulsome review of the book. “He’s obviously got something bigger he’s trying to tell through this and hopefully future issues, but he understands that to tell what he want to he has to tell the smaller stories first, establish his characters, work them into the plot, and if he’s clever enough, he can combine all of that into these 28 pages.”
“It’s kind of difficult to sum up exactly what Psircus is all about,” Daniel told me of the project. “Kathy ran away to join the Psircus, Icarus was raised in it. Both possess extraordinary powers and, under the guidance of P.T. Barnum, great showman and secret saviour of the world, they fight an unseen war against a collective mind intent on global domination.
“Issue Two finds Kathy and Icarus undercover and in danger… Under the pressure of a blown surveillance operation, the Psircus find themselves targeted in their dreams by the Collective Mind and exposed to their darkest fears.”
The project looks great, deserving of the praise heaped upon it from others. Since a digital download is free, why not take a look?
• Created by Daniel Bell and Iain Buchanan, with scripts by Daniel Bell and featuring art by Daniel Bell, Iain Buchanan, Katja Lindblom, and Anna Readman you can buy copies of Psircus One and Two available from www.comicsy.co.uk/danielbellcomics/ at £3.00 plus p&p. Digital downloads are free. The comic will also be on sale at Thought Bubble.
• You can find Daniel Bell’s blog here and find out more about Psircus here (http://danielbellcomics.wix.com/psircus#!) or follow Daniel on twitter @DanBellComics or Facebook he’s also on DeviantArt and you can view some of his other work, including his 2000AD samples, here
• You can find out more about Iain Buchanan, whose work has appeared inTeenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for Panini and Downhill Racers for Hachette, here: http://astrocomics.carbonmade.com. He also has a t-shirt and print range mixing clean pop 1950’s glam with zombie horror
• Follow Anna Readman @anna__redz