Saturday, 9 September 2017

In Preview - 'Self-Care & Vegetables' by Rozi Hathaway.

'Self-Care & Vegetables'

Created by Rozi Hathaway.

Black and white - 40 pages - £3.00 - A6.

Currently available for preorder and to be released at the upcoming Thoughtbubble Comics Festival in Leeds on the 22nd - 24th of September.

Story - This is a comic about a break up and the implications felt by one side of the partnership. From the practical implications to the emotional complications.

The Review - This is described by Rozi on her etsy store as an 'Autobiographical Break Up Zine'. I have a lot to weigh up in describing a book and this review is based on my personal feelings about what I have been sent in preview.

I have read it a couple of times now and it has played on my mind as to whether or not I should present a review. Here are some of the questions I have been asking myself. These are my opinions and I note that they are only relevant to myself. You may have a different opinion.

 (Yes I understand that it is presented as a 'zine' in the advert but in messages to me Rozi herself has described it as a 'comic')

Does this comic go deep enough? Is it an explanation, a confession and/or a peek into the life and thoughts of the creator? Does it give insight? Does it educate or cause enjoyment? Does it work as a comic? Is the art pleasing? Do the words echo? Is it an improvement on that moment in the day? Does it educate and enlighten? Does it get you thinking and/or examining?

Is this enough as a piece of art?

It is by depth, length and time, enough?

Would I buy it? Would others like it?

Is it worth the price?

Does it provide help to others? Does it provide places that people suffering the same problems can go to? (Sadly it does not).

I have been questioning what I am doing here. Do I review this book that has left me a little frustrated and a little confused as to why it is offered for sale.

I understand that strong emotions and difficult situations can and have been used to create art of all kinds. I also understand that interweaving real life and autobiography is a type of comic that can be interesting to those not involved with the described situation. Some of my favourite comics are autobiographical and so-called Slice of Life. But the events must be given texture and depth. They must have something that makes them interesting or enlightening to read about. 

I feel for Rozi. Splitting up with a partner and suffering anxiety is not easy to deal with. But in my opinion a comic about that situation needs more to its pages than we get here.  This comic is in my opinion under realised. It appears to a stranger looking in like a lot of blank pages and some scattershot sketches. It looks like a couple of doodles in a sketchbook with scant interlocking prose. The cover feels like minimalism is an excuse, it's attempt to look like a diary or notebook scribble doesn't work in my opinion. I would personally have loved to see much more art.

This is a shame as I rank Rozi as a really interesting creator and her last few books are up there with some of my personal favourites this year. But this needs more. More depth and more of the beautiful art I am now used to seeing from her. What there is looks like a good start to me, albeit a little rushed and under rendered. I would like a bigger bite at everything she touches upon, she and the reader deserve more of a try.

But that is just my opinion. What do I know.

If this is something that is more to your taste you can go to to get a copy. I highly recommend Rozi's recent release 'Cosmos and Other Stories'. Her etsy store can be found at

You can also follow her on Twitter @angelsallfire

Many thanks for reading.

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