Sunday, 14 August 2011

buying? selling

julia homersham selling the comix reader at port elliott festival

artists julia homersham and gareth brookes took a whole load of comics to port elliott festival a couple of weeks ago (photos courtesy of them). julia and gareth are probably the most talented comics couple i am aware of and i was happy to be included in the selection for their stall.

julia and gareth's stall at port elliott

i always find it difficult to write about other people's work. it is so easy to use empty language. or to get lost in words that end up possibly meaningful in themselves, but which say little about the work at hand. and, although i do think work should speak for itself, leaving it at that can also be a cop out. especially if you're trying to persuade people to have a closer look at something. some work however is perfectly capable of drawing readers in, just with one image or page. to me both julia and gareth's work does that.

from julia's 'chuckle sandwich'

you only need one look at either of their work to see the attention to detail and the sense of humour that has gone into it. gareth's work has been laboured over, but in no way feels over-worked. he uses any medium that suits the story. 'the black project', which chronicles a boy's descent into diy love, echoes the crafting skills of the protagonist in its use of print, embroidery and even paper.

julia makes gag cartoons, but the clarity and elegance of her lines invites you to look a little longer than you might normally look at a cartoon. what could be a simple pun is transformed by an understated rendering that manages to capture exactly the feelings of her anthropomorphized objects and animals. and the gags are often dark or melancholy.

from gareth's 'the black project'

to me the quality of a comic is defined by its story as much as it is by its art or writing, something which is sometimes overlooked by creators over-eager to make something. both julia and gareth have stories to tell, whether it is about the (mis-)adventures of baked goods or the dreams and desires of a boy. and both their stories have a sense of innocence and foreboding.

at the end of the month these artists will be taking to the road again to set up their stall at the west dean festival from 26-29 august.