Created by Luis Yang.
Edited by Zainab Akhtar.
Published by Shortbox.
A5 – 44 pages – £8.
The Story – ‘Two women prepare to move house, but as the day dawns and the removal carriers come and go, they find themselves unable to leave. An evocative internal reflection on the things that we hold on to, and the point at which they begin to hold us back.’
The Review – I bought this off the shelf in Gosh Comics last night. It was a random impulse buy based on my need to experience new indie publishers in the reviewing process for this site. I was not in any way impressed with the quality, art or price of this release.
The cover is pensive and shows what I presupposed was the entrance hall/doorway of an office or communal flats. One woman inside and someone outside the front door. There is a sense of loneliness about what you see. The title of the book then crawls along the bottom of the page. It says ‘Moving’ but you would be forgiven for thinking at a glance that it said ‘Mowing’. It’s drawn with what appears to be an ink/watercolour wash over linework and that effect works pretty well for a cover. I would have liked to see more of this process applied to the pages inside.
The art inside this comic shows the characters and their surroundings in an indistinct cartooning style. I guess this is an intentional stylistic choice but left me feeling like I was reading a comic that was a bit blurred and in a messy pencil fog. The faces of the two women also lack features and was it not for their different hair colouring I wouldn’t have been able to tell who was who. Perspective, vehicles, anatomy, landscapes are all messy and without sharpness or personality and don’t really display any artistic ability worth the price of entrance. As a reading experience its like you are looking through a bored school kid’s exercise book.
There are a couple of style changes including a strange use of a double page spread showing one woman comforting the other in almost total whiteness against a solid black background. Luis also uses shapes to signify boxes and a mattress on the floor in one early sequence that had me wondering as I read what on earth was going on and upon realising what the shapes represented I became curious as to how many seconds it took to draw.
I can see that there was an intention to show something interesting and profound. It sadly does neither and ends up being just tedious. I kept wondering what else it was seeking to discuss beyond it’s visual and narrative greyness.
This is over priced. There’s no way of sugar coating that fact. It is £8.00 for a black and white A5 44 page comic that lacks detail.
The lettering is far too small and at points in a font that makes it difficult to read without an unnecessary pause and a sideways squint. Something that should have been noticed and fixed by editorial.
This is a great example of unwise style over content. It is also incredibly dull. In fact it is so utterly unengaging that I really don’t care and am seriously thinking about throwing it in the recycling.
(From notes I made on the second read through) – ‘Hang on….. Are they meant to be Mum and Daughter? Why do they look the same age? Why is the lettering so small? Who spends £8 on crap like this!’
In Conclusion – Self-indulgent rubbish that doesn’t try to be interesting. If Luis is sad then please in the future perhaps they should keep it to themselves. The story doesn’t work, the art doesn’t make sense and it is so badly lettered to make it really difficult to read. Can I have my money back.
‘…evocative internal reflection…’ YAWN!!!!
You can buy a copy at Gosh Comics in London here or head over to the Shortbox shop here.
I wouldn’t bother if I was you.
Many thanks for reading.
PS. I threw it away. Don’t worry about the money, I’ll mark it up to experience.