Thursday, 24 March 2016

Tony Holdsworth Comic Review

2nd Cartoon and Comic Arts Comic Review By Tony Holdsworth 

STRIP.By Sarah Gordon

STRIP is a visceral experience. It features only one character, who begins the comic standing with hands crossed in front of her, looking at you. She is closed off. She opens up, and takes a full page to give us a seductive look before going into her strip tease. The woman takes off her blouse and casts it to the floor. She rests her hand on her stomach, still looking at you, savouring the look you’re giving her, how much you’re both enjoying it. She takes off her gloves with her teeth and drops them. She pulls her dress off, reveals her corset and lingerie. And then she pulls the corset open. This carries on, never breaking eye contact or her smile for too long, until she is completely nude.
Where can she go from here? How are we not even half way through the book?
She picks up a knife.
From there the book devolves into chaos and self-mutilation and the colour palette expands to include not just black and white now, but red too. While a later spread uses the 9-panel grid, it reads differently to previous pages using that structure. It’s now a strobing effect showing you gore instead of a nicely paced, rhythmic, erotic strip tease.
STRIP made me feel vile. It made me feel like a pervert. It’s probably the most genuine emotional experience I’ve had in a long time reading a comic. By using similar pacing and structure in both halves, the feeling of revulsion and titillation overlap and make you question yourself. Or at least it did for me, maybe I’m just a terrible person.
It’s just that the woman of Strip feels so real. Gordon hasn’t drawn her to be pornstar-perfect, the woman is clumsy sometimes. She falls over. Her lewd smile slips sometimes before she remembers she’s being watched. It’s because of this humanity that when it all hits the fan (which I’m deliberately being vague about) it really made a deep mark on me.
I can see why Sarah Gordon was nominated for a British Comic Award. I’m looking forward to seeing what she does next.

Sarah Gordon can be found at:

Twitter: @notsarahgordon

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

2nd years write reviews of their favourite comics

Comic Reviews for 2nd year Cartoon & Comic Arts 

Last week we were very lucky to be visited by "The Awesome Comics Podcast"
Tony Esmond @ezohyez came and spoke to the students about the importance of reviewing comics and what they need to consider in their work and how they can use this knowledge to make for better work. 
An Easter project was set for students to review their favourite comics, here are some of them. 

 Samurai Genji : Volume 1 Review
Story and art by Geoff Trebs
10x7 in ,Soft cover,166 pages
Price: $29.99

Available to read from :

Geoff Trebs can be found at
Follow on Twitter @dinmoney

"Taste the power of flesh, at the cost of humanity." This phrase carries a lot of weight in this samurai fantasy epic. The story follows Genji Ryu, a samurai who has eaten the flesh of another human being and has been granted the power and long life that comes with it, but also at a price on his path of revenge. In this first volume, after finishing a job rescuing a water priestess for a village finds himself being hunted by the group of people originally sent to do the job he completed. Also the mysterious king of Tamerin has sent out men to get Genji for his own gain.
Coming from a webcomic into a printed collection, seeing the way the art has been transferred to being read online/on a mobile device to print is interesting as I didn't know if it would read as well.
The story is just beginning in this first volume and starts off with a bang, as you get an insight into the personality of all the individuals involved. It also gives off the feeling that there will be such a large world with a lot of depth to go into. We don't really get much about Genji's reasoning or motive behind his revenge fuelled adventure in this volume but I'm sure it'll become apparent within the next chapters/volumes. It's action packed, exciting and tense filled fight scenes make you just want to turn over to the next page to see what's going to happen next.

Trebs' art fits wonderfully with the story as well as its black and white, with all the blank space being black. Which helps add that extra darkness and tension to the work. It's a really beautiful digital style and some of his backgrounds are astounding. The full page images in-between chapters are a good way to break it up and you get to see some more of some of the characters.

The dialogue in it is quite modern compared to what most samurai comics include, but I think it fits into this fantasy world as its consistent and there's nothing out of place. Sadly there are a few spelling errors but not enough that it get frustrating but it is a shame that there's any to begin with.
On the whole though I thoroughly enjoyed this first volume and I'll be keeping up with the webcomic version over on Tapastic as well as buying the next volume when its released. So I say go buy it!