Thursday, 13 February 2020

In Preview - ‘The Junction’ - Coming to Kickstarter Soon.




The Junction.


Created by Norm Konyu.

163 pages - Full Colour.


Dear Diary, When I came home from school yesterday,  the garden gnome spoke to me.’


The Story - ‘Lucas has come home, 12 years after disappearing. Silent. Haunted. And still 11 years old.’






The Review - This is a book that I got an early look at and drops on Kickstarter next month. At it’s heart it is a mystery so I won’t be investigating the plot for you here. I’ll let you discover that for yourself.


This arrived unheralded as far as my social media stream went when I appealed for review copies to keep my bored mind active on a poolside holiday I am currently enduring. I had heard nothing of the book or the creator previously and was impressed and intrigued at the simply told pitch and concept.


The art is what strikes you as different when you start reading. It has the quality of a kids picture book made with an old school animation style. One that you might have seen in the cold evenings on BBC2 as a child. They have a distinct and idiosyncratic style that is both different and yet easy to read. Like shadow paper folded puppets they scatter over the pages interacting and discussing. It has the scent of a classic and creepy fairy tale albeit set in the modern(ish) world.






This book also deals with the anxiety of youth and the need by both young and old to feel safe in their lives. To feel like they belong. Lucas can be seen as the character at the centre of a well crafted mystery and also as an example of the worries of children who know they must grow up and discover the realities and often frightening moments of the ‘Real World.’ This graphic novel delivers levels of reading and understanding in iconic and subtle ways. At first glance it has that Stephen King or Twilight Zone weirdness to it but it has more going on. As well as the fantasy and mystery you get an examination of mental health compared to the realities of modern living and the fast moving changes we all face and parallels in how we individually deal with them.


The narrative of the story is told with different strands and approaches. Both by the parents and other adults near to Lucas but also by Lucas himself and through the diary he decides to keep. The details of his life become stranger and more unusual to this young lad and at the start he can’t work out if these things are just part of a confusing world, a bad dream or something more sinister. The world around Lucas is confusing to him as they are to all of us when we have the innocence and naivety of childhood but in Lucas’ case the incidents of strangeness are much, much sinister.


Dear Diary,

Today’s the day. 

I’m going to ignore the rule 

‘never go into the West Wood’.


I was drawn into this book totally and Norm Konyu takes his time to let you know what you need to work out where this particular story is headed. The graphic novel presents a clever mystery and allows for clues and hints to float past the reader, the investigating police and Lucas himself. You watch if they spot them after or simultaneously with yourself. The creator of this graphic novel also does a great job at keeping Lucas a young man, in looks sure, but also in outlook and he is bright and inquisitive but in a way that a kid of his age should be - even though ......... hmmm that might be a spoiler - have a look for yourself.






I’ll be honest that this isn’t the sort of book or of an artistic style that I gravitate normally towards. I took a few days to make the decision to dive in but I am glad that I did. It’s quite an achievement at 163 pages and may seem a little daunting but on reflection I don’t think that its the sort of story that would work if broken up into twenty page single issues.


What is this place called The Junction. It’s not quite what you expect......


Watch out for the book going live on Kickstarter here https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/thejunction/the-junction-graphic-novel


You can visit the website and find out more about the project here https://junctiongraphicnovel.com/ and follow their progress on Twitter @TheJunctionNovel


Many thanks for reading.

Wednesday, 12 February 2020

Talking Pixel Art with Tom Curry and ‘Skellibob’.




Morning Chums. Something a little different today. 


As anyone who has met me will tell you - I am old and crap with anything technology based. I am just coming round to digital comics via Comichaus, ComiXology and the like. However the world of webcomics is an area that I am wholly ignorant about. I manage to read a couple every month or so. Vanguard by Dan Butcher, anything by Elizabeth Querstret and now the mighty Skellibob by my buddy and sometimes comics collaborator Tom Curry.


But not only is this a regularly updated and funny webcomic it is also done in a different style than I am used to. Pixel Art seems on the rise again and Tom is kind enough to explain it’s origins and how and why he uses this technique.


This really is a great webcomic. I always enjoy dipping in and reading a couple. What I’m also learning is that a good webcomic should have a regularity that keeps the readers coming back and forms a friendly familiarity to the page and it’s characters.


Head to the bottom of the piece for all the links you’ll need.


So I put some questions to Tom - here we go.


Never Iron Anything (NIA) - Tell me a little about skellibob. What’s he all about.


Tom Curry (TC) - So that’s an interesting one to start with. The short answer is Skellibob is a blank slate, which I know sounds like a wanky answer but let me explain. From an in story perspective, we see Skellibob’s rebirth from a pile of bones to the animated skeleton. Now they seem to know the basics of life, they can walk, talk, understand humour. However, seem to have no idea about who or what they were pre death and that will form a major point of the story going forwards. It’s one of the driving forces behind why Skellibob is doing what they are doing.


Now from an storytelling point of view it’s useful to have a blank slate character that can be the audience surrogate. This has been done loads and I’m not breaking any new ground here but it’s a useful tool and trying to be edgy and not use clich├ęs is a good way to make a mess of a story. Of course you don’t want every panel to be: show a thing and then Skellibob looks to the reader and say “Omg isn’t this wild”. Instead having someone who can discover, question and accept the world provides an interesting narrative tool. It also allows the people around Skellibob to explain and reflect of him rather than be in his shadow. There was a pretty good radio series called Elvenquest (radio 4 https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00w7kgn) which I think does this really well and probably influenced how I write Skellibob on the page  


Finally, there’s a real trope in videogames with the blank slate character. The one that comes to mind is Link, a character so blank most people think he’s called Zelda. His actions, which are by extension the players actions, are what define him. Part of me is trying to bottle a little of that in Skellibob. Maybe it’s a mistake as the audience doesn’t have that direct control but we’ll have to see!  





NIA - Why approach it as a webcomic?


TC - There are two reasons I wanted to tackle it this way. Firstly I’m there’s the flexibility that comes with an online media. I can make a page whatever size I want, however many panels I’m looking for. It gives me a freedom that is both intoxicating and scary. Also being dyslexic it makes it possible to change mistakes and update it there and then. There’s also the ability to use other aspects of a digital medium, such as animation to enhance the story. Of course we can get into the tired, what makes a comic a comic conversation and sure there’s a space for that but for me I want to tell a story and tell it the way I want to.  If that means I mix things and people don’t think it’s a comic anymore, cool more power to you, I’m still telling a story though


Secondly, webcomics were the things that got me back into comics. Pack in my late teens I started reading webcomics again, mainly ‘XKCD’ and ‘Saturday morning breakfast cereal’ and just fell in love with the medium again. The way those comics took you from setting to situation to joke was fascinating and something I wanted to emulate. Then I started to look into longer form comics, web and print and so on,  but still kept up to date with those shorter form comics and what they were doing. 




NIA - Pixel art. Explain it to an old bloke like me. Seems to be really popular at the moment but adopts a retro style? 


TC - Pixel art is a form of digital art, created through the use of software, where images are edited on the pixel level, and that’s the key point, individual pixels are placed and edited. It generated from limitations in older game hardware to visualise what they were showing. From there video games moved on but people carried on making art this way with the limitation in place due to them enjoying the stylistic choice. Now it’s hit a peak where the people who played these games are now making art for pleasure in this style. 


The real challenge comes from telling a story with only a limited tool kit and making sure it’s read correctly. For me it was purely a case of drawing this way, finding I liked the method and the output and running from there. The interesting thing is scale, how big does a piece of digital art need to be before it’s no longer pixel art. For me it when you can’t edit an individual pixel. This image https://cdn.mos.cms.futurecdn.net/jbCNvTM4gwr2qV8X8fW3ZB.png  (artist https://twitter.com/retronator), shows what I love about pixel art. With a limited pallet and relatively small scale the artist has been able to tell a story. If I can get 10% of the way there, I’ll be happy.  






NIA - What can we see coming up?


TC - In short, carrying on Skellibob’s story, exploring the world and continuing to put this comic out. From a technical point of view the website needs a bit of TLC and I really want to integrate some other aspects to help tell my story. In other projects, I’ve got something on the back burner that I’m doing in between arcs of Skellibob and might put out or just do it for me and my own enjoyment. 


NIA - Physical copies?


TC - I’ve gone from no, never to maybe some day. I’d like to take the Penned Guin approach. Quietly put this out wait till I’ve got a big chunk then collect it, rinse and repeat! Put it this way, it’s not in the near future but on the horizon.


Thanks Tom. 


You can find more about Skellibob and read his continuing adventure at https://skellibob.com/ and follow Tom on Twitter @thischucklehead


Many thanks for reading.

Tuesday, 11 February 2020

In Review - ‘Waves’ from Archaia.




Waves.


Written by Ingrid Chambers.

Art by Carole Maurel.


93 pages - Full Colour - £6.99 digital.

Published by Archaia.


The Story - ‘After years of difficulty trying to have children, a young couple finally announce their pregnancy, only to have the most joyous day of their lives replaced with one of unexpected heartbreak. Their relationship is put to the test as they forge ahead, working together to rebuild themselves amidst the churning tumult of devastating loss, and ultimately facing the soul-crushing reality that they may never conceive a child of their own.’




The Review - I was tipped off about this book by the Talking Comics podcast that rated it amongst the best of 2019. I had a look and realised that the art was by Carole Maurel who had drawn Luisa: Now and Then a couple of years ago from Humanoids. I’d immensely enjoyed that book and you can find a review of it here http://neverironanything.blogspot.com/2018/08/in-review-luisa-now-then-by-carole.html So I decided to go sight unseen and download this graphic novel. Turns out that it contained subject matter that if anyone knew me twenty odd years ago would know that it struck a serious chord with my own life.


Going in to such a book that may hold emotions long since buried and also a book that has been spoken about so glowingly weighed heavily on reading it in my role as a reviewer. I have invested much of late in reviewing books with a fair but critical eye so I will endeavour to continue in that vein. Otherwise what worth is there in a review?


This story is a true one that was experienced by Ingrid Chambers and her partner and in her afterward she describes the story as ‘...an album about love, loss (and) reconstruction.’ She talks about healing and mourning as does the comic. And about the distance that was needed to create the story as a piece of art.


The book is at ninety-three pages nevertheless quite a quick read and as you can imagine there are whole sequences that are wordless and rely on reaction and implication. The art impeccably handles the facial acting and slows down the pace to allow for genuinely heart-breaking moments of truthful emotion especially between the couple. They are not named and will refer to each other in ways other than first names , ‘honey’ for example, and this allows for us all to peer into their lives and walk in their shoes.


There is also a clever use of colour. Some pages are fully coloured and sit with that overly realistic glow reflecting some moments of caution, joy, impatience and yes sadness. After the death of their son the world switches to grey and black and white to indicate the darkness over their heads. Indicating an emotionless world and the struggle to move through the heavier moments and eventually hopefully recover. These colours begin to creep in and one tipping point is the involvement of the couple in a help group full of people with similar experiences. This was well chosen as a technique and subtlety and sensitively applied.






I will admit to finding some of the dream sequences a little twee and on the nose. One dream later on in the book has the central character sitting in a rowing boat and holding the string to a heart shaped balloon floating overhead. She then lets the balloon go at the same time I sighed with a small amount of frustration. The book plays in a number of cliches that I found a little trite and uninteresting. There is a danger with books full of extreme emotions to seek gravitas from the cliche and I’m afraid this happens more than once and not in a way that works. The pages (Spoilers ahead folks) where the main character decides she has ‘...made it’ after an acceptance letter arrives from a children’s book publisher seemed a bit daft and more than a little forced in for that ‘Happy Ending’. The events of real life sometimes don’t translate?


Some of the moments are however very well done and for that reason I value the reading experience I had with the book this afternoon. A crying baby forces the woman to hide under the covers or the tear landing on the sadly passed away face of their own baby are incredibly moving and successfully recreated on the page. 






The art is good and solid but sadly not on the level of detail and style that I saw from Maurel in the aforementioned Luisa. It may well be a stylistic decision but the world seemed less realised and rich and occasionally I was seeking something more from a panel.


This is a good book and one that I am sure has helped the writer and may others in her circumstances. It may be that I fell foul to the curse of hype and had heard amazing things about this graphic novel that failed to reflect my own experiences. But it is a book with a strong message. 


I would also have loved to have seen a helpline or website that the reader could visit to donate to or get support from? Come on Archaia , the characters visit one in the narrative so you can’t be blind to their real life existence?


Many thanks for reading. 

Recommended Reading - Hopper! Detective of the Strange. By Rob Barnes.





Hopper! Detective of the Strange - The Case of the Bank Robbing Mummies.


Created by Rob Barnes.

Edited by Tom Stewart.

Published by Fair Spark Books.


Full Colour.

£1.50 digital.

£3.00 physical.


“Hopper! Detective of the Strange” is set in the 1940’s. Hopper’s not your ordinary detective. Specializing in the strange and unexplained. He believes that there is a rational explanation for everything, but lately, the cases have revealed that the supernatural, mythical and magical is real. Now he tries to bring those, who use the supernatural for criminal means, to justice.’


This isn’t a typical review as I have a horse in this race. I work as an editor and writer for Fair Spark Books and not only do I think that Rob Barnes consistently creates perfect all-ages comic books it’s also edited by my pal and comic huffing Scot Tom Stewart. It is however a hugely recommended book that is perfect for younger readers and old curmudgeonly ones just like me.






Hopper: Detective of the Strange hits all those sweet spots that I look for in a detective story. He’s your classic down at heel private eye with an old school attitude. He pursues his investigations by interviewing all the suspects with wit and guile rather than staring at a computer all day. He also narrates the story in the first person throughout like a great old gumshoe should. Pure Noirish Heaven with a classic animation style of art and pacing.


This is also a pretty darn decent whodunnit. You can follow some cunningly dropped clues to the final reveal. I can see kids loving Hopper and he’s also one of my new favourite characters. He has at once a great comic detective personality but with just a twist of the added naivety you need to make him appealing to those younger readers. 






Look out for the second issue and pick up other work by Mr Barnes and others over at https://fairsparkbooks.co.uk/product/hopper-detective-of-the-strange-the-case-of-the-bank-robbing-mummies 


If you’re a fan of this one then also have a look for Gallant and Amos by Rob that is also published by Fair Spark Books. You can follow Fair Spaek Books and the Little Heroes Charity that they support on Twitter @fairsparkbooks and @littleheroeskit


Little Heroes is the great charity that puts comics making kits and activity books into the hands of kids suffering with long-term stays in hospital with serious illnesses. Head over and drop them a few quid.


You can find Rob on Twitter @barnz63 and at his website here http://www.arghcomics.com/


Many thanks for reading. 

Sunday, 9 February 2020

In Preview - ‘Dragman’ by Steven Appleby.




Dragman.


Created by Steven Appleby.

Watercolour by Nicola Sherring.


336 pages - Full Colour - £18.99.

Published by Jonathan Cape.

Released in the UK on March 12th 2020.

Released in the US on April 7th 2020.


The Story - ‘Dragman tells the story of August Crimp, a man who has superpowers when he puts on women’s clothes. August loves wearing a dress but is deeply ashamed of his compulsion and terrified of rejection should it ever come out. So he tells no one. Not even his wife. But then one day a little girl falls from the rooftop cafe at the Art Museum and August has no choice but to fly and save her – an event witnessed by hundreds of people.


And August Crimp’s life is never the same again.’






The Review - I have long been a fan of Steven’s art and was over the moon to get sent a preview copy of this impressively packaged graphic novel. Even at it’s 336 pages of story I read it gripped and within one sitting. For this is a story with many themes and layers. I then reread it in physical form - you can’t beat an actual page turn! It can be read as a surreal superhero story, as a touching romance, as a didactic morality tale, as a thriller and also as an honest speculative biography with autobiographical touchstones.


As a fifty-something straight male I hopefully approached this book with my eyes open and a preparedness to learn. I also took care, even in my own oafish fashion, to politely ask about Steven’s preferred pronoun. Steven is a trans person and whilst he makes it clear in the afterward that August Crimp is not him there are the obvious parallels. It’s fair to say that I learned much but was also amused, intrigued and glued to the absolutely gorgeous art. There is also a warmly nostalgic feel to the moments that reference old comic books without a hint of snark.




This book is at it’s heart, in my humble opinion, a book that shows the benefits and difficulties in reaching your own personal empowerment. It shows the characters in a number of ways fighting injustice and prejudice. A stand-out moment being when August declares that he is not in drag but is a trans person. A distinction taught sensitively through the use of character and narrative. There is no hitting us over the head with diatribes here. Steven builds the characters with genuine truth and affection and allows them to speak to the issues, all the while wrapping the story with some great moments and within a capes and cowls genre.


The creator of Dragman read superhero comics as a kid and you can see the parallels with his own life. For years Steven kept that ‘Secret Identity’ and has his own ‘Origin Story’. The moment where Crimp tries on a pair of women’s stockings and is thrown up to the ceiling is an absolutely brilliant moment that joins the autobiographical with the fantastical. 


That was the first time I flew.’


Crimp uses covert and secretive methods to disguise the other side of his life. It’s just that in Dragman he has the power of flight!


But the nature of secrets is that often they are found out and people can get hurt. One of the most sensitively captured moments is when Crimp finally admits everything to his wife Mary Mary (named twice) and it’s not the dressing up and putting himself in danger that hurts her but rather the secrets that he kept. We’ve all felt that pain with a partner for one reason or another? Steven draws out these super-personal moments with absolute deftness. Another stand-out for me is when August meets his future wife whilst looking at paint samples and listening to The Fall on his headphones. Mary Mary tells him warmly that they may not be the best band to pick paint colours out with? Peter Parker might have more success with the ladies if he had a better taste in music!





This is a book of discoveries and revelations. August Crimp learns as we watch and we see how these changes affect both him and those around him. The emotional beats are counterpointed by the absurdist and hilarious moments involving the superhero community. This graphic novel hits that sweet spot for me where we get widespread surrealism without the cliche of crossing over into fantasy or magical story points. 


But Dragman is not the only superhero in this world. In fact they seem to be all over the place. We get characters like the over-friendly lethario ‘Hindsight’ or ‘Pipe’ who can use his powers to transport members to the private and hidden superhero club. We also get to see the rather too angry Marsupial Man;


What’s in my man pouch today scumbags?’


A personal favourite for me is ‘Believer’ who is a ranting, old and alcoholic cape who is now jaded and used to have the power to ‘believe in things’. Dragman even has a sidekick called ‘Dog Girl’ who has ‘super smelling ability.’ Dog Girl is carried around in flight by Dragman from mission to mission.


The world has some pretty intriguing touches. For example you can sell your souls for cash in this parallel universe. But in doing so it changes you, makes you crueler. This creates both a metaphor for the savageness of the modern world but also creates a horror element to the narrative. These souls are then used by others. Throughout the graphic novel you get short prose sections at chapter breaks that can have a chilling element to them.


There’s nothing quite so sublime as the frisson he gets when the soul of a dirty girl slides into his system.’


Just from the above you can see that this graphic novel slips between the unusual and oddball skybound superhero antics, the grounded social realism, the horror of losing your soul to the more sensitively dealt with minutiae of human relationships and love. It is also guaranteed to put a smile on your face - and I cannot stress that too highly.


The art uses that much valued technique of a limited colour palette in flashback and then quickly switches up to beautifully realised full colour pages and splash pages. There is a staggering amount of work that has gone into each and every page. You will drink in every single page and spend time spotting all the little details. Nicola Sherring is a big part of the art in this book with her watercolour vibrancy an integral part of the present day sequences. 





Enough of this gushing! This book is the best one I have read in a while. I read and reread it in a matter of two days and firmly believe that it will be winning all the awards soon. You heard it here first.


Find out more about the book here https://www.penguin.co.uk/books/111/1114528/dragman/9781787330177.html


You can find out about more great books and art from Steven Appleby here http://stevenappleby.com/ and follow him on Twitter @StevenAppleby



Many thanks for reading.

Wednesday, 5 February 2020

Current Comics Reading Trends.

After a challenge from by podcasting brother Dan Butcher I decided to make a note of every comic I read in January. It shows some decent trends and changes in my reading habits that I thought would be worth exploring.

(D = Digital reading. A mix of Comixology, review copies and Comichaus).

This list is shorter than usual due to me not being near the central London comics shops that I normally would be a couple of times a week over a normal working month (Christmas/New Year and all that jazz). I also wrote a few issues of new series over the period and have been involved in the editing and selling process for others (no excuses).

It’s also worthy of note that I tend to impulse buy many comics and read them without adding them to my LCS pull list. But with the decline of new comics at Orbital this is becoming more and more difficult. Only if I have the time I can head over to Forbidden Planet or Gosh and pick up other books. Sad times for a great shop.

Marvel remains the company that I still read the most. It is also the company that I remain mostly in the physical reading realm. Around one eighth of the Marvel Comics that I read tend to be from ComiXology. And this seems to be purely for convenience as they were all comics that I already owned. Double dipping if you will. It is worthy of note that around three quarters of the Marvel comics that I read in January were older than four years and many were more than twenty years old. 

I think that it’s fair to say that I have fallen out of love with many of the comics that Marvel have been putting out in recent years and whilst I am buying many of them they are sitting there unread. The older issues that I’m rereading are more often than not single back issues pulled from long boxes and reread or on the odd occasion bought cheaply at comics marts/conventions/back issue boxes at shops. It’s important to note that currently I’m seeing more and more instagram accounts and blogs dedicated to back issues that it really does make you wonder who are the readers for the newly released floppies.

Marvel.
Wolverine 2-8 (Epic Trade). D
Incoming 1
Fantastic Four 192.
Contagion 4 - 5.
Captain America and The Invaders 1.
Invaders 10.
Squadron Sinister 1-4.
Peter Parker: Spectacular Spider-Man - 47.
Power Man and Iron Fist - 57
Astonishing Tales 16, 18.
Ka-Zar 18
X-Men (2019) 4
Daredevil (2018) 16
Punisher Soviet 3
Thor 2020 1
Hawkeye 2020 1
X-Force 5
Conan: Serpent War 2
Defenders (1972) 5
Thor 280, 167
New Mutants (2019) 5
Hulk 173
Machine Man 18
Return of the Cosmic Ghost Rider 1-2
Iron Man 2020 1
Savage Avengers 9
Marvel Spotlight 5
Amazing Spider-Man 183
Marvel Team-Up 77,78
Marvel Feature 6
Captain Marvel 39
The Thing 19
What The?! 6
Marauders 6
Atlantis Attacks 1
Ghost Rider 4
Epic Illustrated 1

DC Comics and my reading habits follow pretty much the same lines as Marvel but on an albeit smaller scale. I had a bit of a Ditko phase over the New Year period and read some of his earlier works. I had also previously subscribed to Mad Magazine due to a pal working on the newer issues so that accounts on why these are part of my ‘Digital Read Pile.’ It is also worth noting that the habit of reading older DC Comics far outweighs the newer issues I’m reading.

DC Comics.
Inferior 5 - 2.
Detective Comics 1018.
New Teen Titans Annual 2 D
Hawkman 20.
Batman 86-87
Swamp Thing 2
Mad Magazine 5 - 6 D
Showcase 75
Hawk and Dove (1988) 1 D
Shade the Changing Man 1-6
Stalker 1-2
Batman Universe 2
Freedom Fighters 12
Legion of Superheroes 3
Checkmate Vol 2 1 - 5
House of Mystery 308, 310
House of Mystery (Vol 2) 8, 10
Legion of Superheroes - The Great Darkness Saga H/B

Europe Comics is that new love, that new taste that I have become more than slightly obsessed with at the moment. Whilst there are only seven titles on the list they are all albums and are at least around the fifty pages each size. These are all obviously read digitally and I feel that if they were available physically I would be reading more.

Europe Comics.
Asgard Vol 1 D
The Colony D
Undertaker 5 D
Lightness D
The Great Outdoors D
Guinea Pigs 1 D
The Hardy Agency 1 D

Dark Horse and Image would normally over past years have been much higher and the lack of reading their titles doesn’t reflect my actual buying habits. It’s just that the floppies and trades that I buy tend to sit unread until I’m in the mood to read a certain subject/character/team etc. I have a pile of BPRD etc that needs reading for example. The IDW reads are all digital.

In the past I have ready many more Dynamite and Valiant comics. I genuinely feel that the fall off in quality at both companies had affected this trend. Valiant seem to have dumped many of the characters I normally enjoy reading. I would easily read five or more titles a month from that company (and many more back issues from the classic line) but my enthusiasm has taken a nose dive for books that seem pretty darn dull.

Dark Horse.
Grendel: Devil’s Odyssey - 3
Vampirella 100
Lobster Johnson trade.

IDW.
Ragnorak - Trade 1. D
Island of Dr Moreau 1-2 D
Dire Wraiths 1 D

Drawn and Quarterly.
House - (GN) D

Image Comics.
Savage Dragon. 247.
Tarot 1.
Trees 6
Mage (new run) 10-15.

Humanoids.
The Twilight Man Graphic Novel D
Carthago 5

Dynamite.
Barbarella Trade 1. D

Valiant.
The Visitor 1.
Magnus Robot Fighter 23-25.

Boom.
Ronin Island 9 D

Top Shelf.
British Ice GN.

Indie.
Mars Space Barbarian. 1
The King D
Ascension 1 D
2000 AD Christmas Special 2019.
Skin (trade).
Strange Days 1 D
Paradax 1 D
Best of Milligan and McCarthy Collection D
Dream Gang Trade 1 D
The Hero Comics 29
Resurrection Perverts.
Saffron 1
Durango 1 D
The Complete Tales From The Con D
Secret Agent X-9 4
Crusade Vol 1
My Little Green Bike D
GGA D
The Freak
Kelly Crimson D
Walk in Like An Exorcist
2000 AD 2156
Gods and Gear 1-2

I honestly feel like this is quite a short list and I’m sure I’m missing many that I started reading and didn’t finish. It also doesn’t really include many of the books I dipped into on Comichaus for example or the books sat in the study that I just leafed through and forgot to note down.

I may well take on the same exercise next January to see how my reading habits and the comics marketplace have changed.

Many thanks for reading.