Sunday, 29 September 2019

In Preview - ‘Moon’ by Nicole Bates


Created by Nicole Bates.

40 pages - Full Colour.

Available from the 11th of October and getting a launch at the Lakes International Comics and Art Festival.

‘Moon’ shows how to overcome fears and worries that attack us in our own daily lives. This quiet assistance is told through a dream that is full of strange events but also stress and anxiety. This is a book that moved me, a grumpy fifty-one year old, more than a little.

‘Worry often gives a small thing a big shadow’.

There are a few comics creators out there that put out books that I rush to both read and review. Books that evoke something more than the average and try something that many might see as oddball or left-field or quirky or experimental. Artists and writers like Dimitrius Zach, Stuart McCune, Gareth Hopkins, Gareth Brookes, Gustaffo Vargas, John Tucker and Nick Prolix are some of the people who send me their work and I rush to read and then describe how their work is exciting/moving/intriguing/inspiring me. They often tell stories that are nothing alike from each other but all strike a chord. Nicole Bates has joined that list for this particular blogger.

‘Moon’ is the new release from Nicole and takes it’s place in both the stable of books coming from Charity Comics Label Fair Spark Books as well as her own personal growing library of graphic novellas.

Like it’s predecessors ‘Moon’ makes use of small intricate drawings and watercolours that are sat on a broader page. They evoke a quiet sadness in the brush, line and style. This highly expressive and warmly personal approach allow for something of a confessional vibe whilst simultaneously carrying the reader along on the back of a story.

It used to be colourful’.

The story follows the night, dawn and then day of a young girl wandering through a forest, hearing tall tales, encountering strange characters and creatures and learning a little bit about herself. It is a tale told almost wordlessly but with a broad scope of feeling. There is an ever pervading feeling of being lost and isolated that I felt a little moved by what it was whispering to me from the page. There are some great uses of black and white in the negative to portray the night time in a forest. This moves into a navy blue and then the brightness of both the waking day and the strength of realisation - all with minimal yet iconically configured images.

It strikes me that I would love to see Nicole break free of this smaller format and use her obvious skills on a wider canvas, fill the page with her brushwork with a change of pace abandon. She works in a way that is beholden to nobody and neither should she but I think a Treasury Edition size artbook is somewhere waiting for it to be picked up and painted?

As always this is highly recommended.

Find Fair Spark Books on Twitter @fairsparkbooks or at 

Find out more about Nicole by following her on Twitter @Nikki_Draws or find her website at

Many thanks for reading.

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