I feel as though I’ve been neglecting my blog recently! I’ve had lots of things on my mind – trying to finish the fourth chapter of my Ph.D, worrying about the revisions I’m going to have to make on my previous writing, and generally just feeling a bit anxious about the future. I’m desperately in need of some part-time work, but I have found a few good leads, so hopefully I’ll have some luck in the next few weeks.
One consolation through this has been the feeling that I’m having more success with my creative endeavours. I’ve got lots of fun projects on the back burner, which I hope to blog about soon. A very important day was my visit to the Birmingham Zine Festival (you can read about it here). Looking at all the varied publications on offer, I felt inspired to be more confident about my own work.
I bought lots of cool stuff that day, but my favourite purchase was Sean Azzopardi’s 100 days of Winter. The first thing that drew me to the book was the bold artwork. There’s something very appealing about the layout of the cover, with paper floating down like snowflakes.
The collection represents Azzopardi’s attempt at producing one page of diary comics over a period of 100 days. As it was, his project ran aground around day 55. However, it is the story of this failure, and the way life keeps intruding upon aspirations, that makes this book so special.
Azzopardi’s artwork excels at conveying expression and emotion, and his pages flow nicely, rarely being broken up into panels. We’re given a great sense of the flow of his life, as he deals with work pressures, health problems, and the upsetting business of looking after his beloved cat Nobby, who is growing older and more infirm.
There’s a real delicacy in the portrayal of life’s complications. While sad things happen, this is not a depressing read. There are nice moments of humour: I particularly liked the page about Miles Davis and Aphex Twin! The comic ends on a hopeful note, as Azzopardi looks toward the possibilities of the future. But don’t take my word for it – go and look at the author’s website and buy a copy here. It’s a real bargain, at £3 including postage and a free sketch!
I was really pleased to see some Azzopardi work at the Hypercomics exhibition in Battersea Park. Also, I snapped a photo of this drawing of Sherlock (by John Cei Douglas) queuing for the toilets at a music festival! Cool, huh?