Archive for July, 2009

The Red Wilberforce

Monday, July 27th, 2009

windy-collage-web

A collage from 1997. Windy Wilberforce, Maori tattoos on his face, connects to his pastoral roots by means of Astrolabe and Globe.

It’s Not Satin

Sunday, July 26th, 2009

Now I Look Like SattinIT’S NOT SATIN takes an Ed’s-eye look at horror. Superficially, it’s not too far removed from EC territory, telling the story of a mad, reclusive artist who must possess the object of his love in much the manner of John Fowles’ ‘The Collector’, but who cannot in the end incarcerate his loved one’s spirit. But to read Pinsent’s work superficially is to miss the point; he is not merely a storyteller. He seems to me to be an artist who employs narrative as a structure, a framework intended to provide access to the meanings and possibilities implied by the ambiguous events with which it is embellished. Here, for instance, satin is not only not the material of which a ribbon is made – it is also not the name of the familiar horned image which is the “tortured” artist’s friend, sole communicant and inspiration.

That is a simple ambiguity, clearly explained within the narrative itself. Its deeper resonances, however, can only be probed and explained within the context of each individual reader’s experience and understanding. More than almost anything else in comics, Pinsent’s work defeats the techniques of objective analysis – all this review can do is tell you what I think of this tale. You, whoever you may be, will find other matter for digestion within its pages. Perhaps this is why Pinsent is generally held to be brilliant, but has never achieved wide acceptance; his work holds little that is susceptible to consensual understanding.

For what it’s worth, then my reading of IT’S NOT SATIN perceives a cold condemnation of art’s very artificiality. Its nameless protagonist does not (cannot?) communicate in words, only in symbols; caught up in an entirely private world of meaning, he (she?) interprets a moment of fleeting, trivial human communication as the trigger for a passion which can only be consummated dispassionately. With the help of artisan’s tools, the loved one is captured and objectified, adapted completely into the artist’s world and thereby removed from real life. From this chilling expression of a dichotomy between art and life, perhaps the closing pages, in which the artist feels compelled to release his loved one’s spirit, offer a means of redemption. Perhaps…but there the story ends.

And perhaps no-one else would read the story in this way. As with all reviews, you can read them but they cannot embody your understanding. Ed Pinsent reminds us that only you can do that. For the questions that he asks, give him your support.
Mike Kidson
From ZUM! No 3, January 1992

It’s Not Satin, written and drawn in 1990, was one of my rare full-colour stories. It has previously only been available in a black-and-white photocopied version, printed half the size of the original art. This web publication is the first time it has been released in its full colour version. (EP)

Download It’s Not Satin as a PDF (4.25MB)
Adults only! Not suitable for young readers!

Small press galleries update

Monday, July 13th, 2009

Many thanks to Russell Willis, the editor of a fanzine called Infinity in 1984-85, who sent us a link to his Facebook galleries of UK small press cover art from his personal collections. “Feel free to use whichever ones you feel fit,” he adds encouragingly. I’ve added a few of his images to the first gallery and I’m sure his collection will be extremely useful for filling gaps in future additions. I regret I’m currently unable to credit the artists, or ascertain dates, for some of these comics.

UK small press galleries opened

Monday, July 6th, 2009

gallerybanner1We’re starting to build a gallery of UK small press cover art from the 1980s (and 1990s). The first gallery (A5 titles A-D) opened today and further galleries will be added over time. I hope the collection will build into a fairly representative sample of the unusual and imaginative small press comics and stripzines published in England in this period.

We are publishing these covers online since we regard these artworks as an important and neglected part of UK comics history. If you are one of the artists and you object to this, please contact me if you wish to have your cover removed from the site. Conversely, you should also contact me if you wish to further the enterprise and submit any further examples of small press comics from this period.