In preparation for Thought Bubble this weekend, I’ve been reading the Comic Art Anthology for 2012 with some of the best short pieces I’ve seen in a long time. This edition features six winners from the 2011 Northern Sequential Art Competition as well as industry legends such as Kate Beaton (Hark! A Vagrant) and Tony Harris (Ex Machina). The winners of this year’s competition will be announced on Sunday in Savilles Hall and will be featured in the 2013 edition of the Anthology.
A lot of these comics deal with love of the medium. “A Significant Portraiture” is an adorable Victorian-style comic by Gail Simone showing a charming young girl falling in love with comics like “Lady Wonder” and “X-Chaps” – personally I would love to read the adventures of “Bat Gentleman”! Although it isn’t said explicitly, the heavy hint is that a normal little girl shouldn’t like comic books. Tula Lotay’s artwork is beautiful and Bove’s colouring is exquisite on the ladies dresses, not to mention the final line which left me giggling – “And that little girl grew up to be Queen of Finland!”
Kristina Baczynski’s “Due Returns” is a sweet web-comic style story which follows a young woman’s love of learning and eagerness to read. “I’m Through” by Ivan Brandon tells the tale of a boy who receives a comic for Christmas, flips through the book disinterestedly but finds himself sucked in to this new, magical world that captivates and holds him. “The Clicking Machine”, while focussed on film instead of comics, shows an obsession with the medium that drives a man to madness
“Soon” is a beautiful, abstract piece of work showing the beauty in technology and hope, down to the details in every atom. The subdued colours work wonderfully and give the feel that this is a philosophical, humanity-loving tale. “Dad’s Ear” is a funny tale of the psychological warfare parents are able to commit upon their children to make them behave. But my favourite of the collection is Kate Beaton’s “Dude Watching’ With the Brontës”, a brilliant satire of Charlotte and Emily’s habits of writing romantic leads as alcoholic brutes while the significantly less popular Anne chides them.
There are many more stories, but it would be a shame to ruin them. Most of the contributors will be at the convention, so bring along your copy (or get one there!) and get it signed by your favourite artists and writers from the collection. See you there!