Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Birmingham Mail reviews Spirit of Hope

Over on the website of The Birmingham Mail today, the Speech Balloons column by Paul H. Birch gives a very fair and balanced review to the Spirit of Hope book. (Which as you probably know from reading previous posts is the charity book many of us contributed to after the natural disasters in New Zealand and Japan earlier this year.)

I was very pleased indeed to read Paul's comments about the page I scripted and drew for the book:

"Flick through the hundred plus pages and you might miss that other very special story; for it only lasts a single page three-quarters of the way through. It is titled Undefeated and is by Lew Stringer.

It has been said of Stringer that he can come up with canny and corny punchlines aplenty and as often as you like. Now some will view that as recommendation, others as criticism. Either way, it has served his publishers well. That he is not only a verbal gagster but a first rate cartoonist is unquestionable.

That, like [Liam] Sharp, he goes outside his comfort zone, and swims that extra mile makes his tale special too: He uses the tools of his cartooning trade; applies some of the journalistic tricks he's picked up along the way and juxtaposes the visual and the verbal to create something that raises a smile but respectfully; taking us through a series of mixed emotions in the space of six simply outlined panels. Do I make too profound a comment on something so short, and perhaps so apparent as it rests there on the page before me? No. It's what marks the great out among the good. They don't have to act clever: they just are."

Paul goes on to be far too critical of his own work, but one always sees the flaws in one's own material. Given the chance again I'd go back and re-draw a couple of bits in my Undefeated strip as there are parts that needed to be gritter I think, but I'm pleased to see that it had a good reception as it stands.

Even though I've been freelancing in comics for 28 years it's been rare to see reviews of my work as the focus is usually on the teen/adult material, so this review made my day.

If you haven't bought Spirit of Hope yet you can order your copy from this link:

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