Tim Bird and I will be holding the fort in the absence of Avery Hill Publishing as they will be in Toronto, exhibiting for TCAF! It’s going to be a great show, so swing by, enjoy the festivities and buy some cracking books.
As I am normally serially negative about most creative output, I thought I’d give a positive nod to these great books that I enjoyed and inspired me during 2015.
So, in no particular order, here are the magnificent seven...
‘Here’ - Richard McGuire [Penguin]
A stunning exploration into my favourite comics
device; ‘time’. Taken from a single perspective, the narrative deftly flits between
different timeframes, offering glimpses into the lives that pass in front of
the impartial lens. By turns, these moments are poignant, amusing, touching and
beautiful. At first it appears almost random, but as the book progresses it becomes
clear there is much going on, extra narratives about the repetition of history
and our insignificance against the weight of time start to emerge. I wouldn’t normally
be attracted to the art style, but it really works in the context of this book,
which is not just triumph in itself, but also for the whole medium of comics.
Rarely does a comic book really connect with me on
all levels. There are so many different elements to ‘get wrong’ when it comes
to satisfying someone as particular as me, but Tim Ginger knocks it out the
park in every category. The story follows the titular character, a
retired test pilot, as he looks back at his life and tries to make sense of his
past and future trajectories. It combines a perfectly crafted story, heroic use
of the comics medium and the artwork is (to my eye) pretty much pitch perfect.
Long As It Rains’ - Zviane [Pow Pow Press]
This is a simple story, or rather, a relatively
simple extract from what is doubtless a messy and complex story. As the title
hints at, it shows us a glimpse into a relationship existing in a brief moment of
isolation between parameters and confines alluded to throughout. It manages to capture the purity and excitement of that moment, but with ‘real life’ looming and quietly overshadowing the whole story. The drawing is superb, capturing mood and time perfectly
as the characters play out their parts in a strange, architectural cocoon;
very affecting. It also has possibly the best written/drawn sex scene I have yet to read in
This Part’ – Tillie Walden [Avery Hill Publishing]
Being a late developer in the romantic department,
Tillie’s book is a beautiful insight into a world I feel completely unfamiliar
with. I missed out on the awkwardness and innocence of young love and in most
ways I count that as a blessing, I got to skip those hard learnt lessons and
the embarrassment at every turn, but ‘I Love This Part’ almost makes me nostalgic
for an experience I never really had. A time when small details become huge and
all consuming, the rest of the world appearing insignificant by comparison, so
little, saying so much. In addition, the artwork is exceptional.
‘Russian Olive To Red King’ – Kathryn and Stuart
Immonen [Adhouse Books]
Utterly heart-breaking and dramatically drawn, I almost
felt physically drained at the end of this book. Without giving too much away, the
story follows a couple who are separated by an event and charts their responses to the
unknown between them. If that sounds pretty abstract, well, in parts, it is, but
that only serves to reinforce the intangibility of the subject. Even if you get
nothing else out of it, pretty much every page features an exquisitely
beautiful image, in fact, the whole book as a design package is a delight to
‘Killing and Dying’ - Adrian Tomine [Drawn &
Quarterly/Faber & Faber]
Probably enough has been said about this book
already, but it deserves all the praise it gets. One of few books you should
most definitely judge by its cover, every page is a masterpiece in drawing and
graphic composition. That’s not to say it is style over substance though, each
of the five different stories within skilfully navigates the subject it takes
on with breath-taking eloquence and insight. It is impossible to pick a
favourite, as the variety of stylistic and narrative choices between the stories
make each one a unique gem in its own right. Definitely the best looking book
to take up space on you shelf this year.
‘The Four Reptiles of the Apocalypse’ – Lando [Decadence]
For those familiar with his work, this needs no explanation,
and for those of you who are not, I’m not going to even try. Lando is the architect
of masterfully executed science fiction worlds that he populates with dark and poignant
stories and ‘Four Reptiles of the Apocalypse’ gives you exactly what the title
promises. It is both grim and beautiful, but the whole wordless narrative is
wrapped in a rye dark humour that is found in all of Lando’s work. In addition to
this, he is probably one of the greatest comic artists working in the medium
I am very proud to announce that my book; Between the Billboards & The Authoring of Architecture, is now available to pre-order from Avery Hill ahead of it's official release next week. I think you should get yourself a copy, but don't just take my word for it...
There’s so much to enjoy in Between The Billboards, the deep melancholy is tempered by Pomery’s ear for naturalistic and funny dialogue, the minimalism in his art tempered by some absolutely gorgeous architectural design elements, such as this really impressive pull away shot of Ebner’s lonely home, Pomery utilising all the best of architecture and comic page design to give us this… - Richard Bruton [Forbidden Planet International]
As an incentive to get in there quickly, the first 100 copies come with a limited edition bookplate. I have begrudgingly numbered and signed every one, and each features a unique misanthropic quote from the protagonist; James Ebner.
Between the Billboards
is very important and personal project to me. It marked my first foray into the
medium comics and through the process of writing, drawing and producing the six
part series, I learnt a huge amount, not only about the craft, but also about
self-publishing generally. The story is itself is also a very personal one,
reflecting on choices and the cause and effect of our actions within our
environment and the opportunity to explore this in comics, has been cathartic
and illuminating experience.
always been conceived as a single volume, but releasing it in separate parts
was the only way it seemed viable to me as a self-publisher, so when it was
complete, it seemed only natural to collect it as one piece. Through
collaborating with Avery Hill Publishing, we both agreed that simply reprinting
the work was not something we could get that excited about, we wanted to create
a new book and at the same time, expose the original story to people who may
not have been aware of it. This how we conceived; Between the Billboards & The Authoring of Architecture. The
original story is there, but reformatted and redesigned to really make it the
best it can be. In addition to this, the book contains a collection of other short
form comics, which are all linked by an architectural approach; one of the
principle themes recurring in Billboards. Through additional writings,
annotations and a new bespoke comic that binds all the work and ideas together,
we have created a book of which I am immensely proud.
I have been overwhelmed by the support and interest in my
comics so far, so I am very pleased that this book will be found by a new
audience, as well as providing something exciting for those who made it all possible
in the first place. I take great pleasure in casting a dim light on those areas
of life we do not always acknowledge, but so many of us relate to and I hope
this book goes a little way to exploring that.
All being well, I will continue to work drawing comics, architecture and everything in between. In the meantime here are some of things I have been up to recently.
Between the Billboards & The Authoring of Architecture.
My previously self-published, six part comic series is to be released by Avery Hill Publishing. The original story has been reformatted and collected alongside other architectural short form comics I have made and bound together with annotation, writings and bespoke Benson comic. There will be more on this soon, but suffice to say, I am very excited. Get your pre-orders in NOW!
Here is what the cover will be looking like...
The Megatherium Club vol. 2.
The second volume of The Megatherium Club is being serialised and released as a four part run in Avery Hill's house anthology; Reads. Part I and II (Skeleton Crew and Bear With Me) have already been released in Reads 1 & 2 respectively. Reads 2 even gets a superb Megatherium Club cover, courtesy of the amazing Eleni Kalorkoti.
The third part will be out soon in Reads 3, so I very much suggest you pick up the first two, to really get into the swing of things. Below is picture of the disastrous camping trip that featured in Bear With Me...
Analogue Vision. There has also been plenty of architectural work happening over at my sister site ANALOGUE VISION. If this interests you, I urge you to go and check it out, as it now includes much of the work I have done with landscape designer Diarmuid Gavin, a recent commission for the Young Vic theatre, and this illustration I made of the Airstream caravan/cafe; The Flying Cloud.
Other Work. Of course, there are always other things I am working on and all will be revealed in the fullness of time, but for now, here are a couple of pieces. As luck would have it, I found I will be in Toronto for a talk by Roman Mars, of the podcast 99% Invisible(if you are not aware of it, I highly recommend listening), so I took the opportunity to draw this alternative poster for the event. And finally, while taking a break from exhibiting and comic shows, I made this illustration that sums up my experiences...I'm joking of course...
I have been pretty quiet for a while, but fear not, I have been working on various projects and hopefully some of which will be revealed soon.
In the meantime, I found this drawing for a short comic I now realise will have to go on the back-burner for a while, so I thought I would share it with you now, rather than just have it lurking on my hard drive.
Great to speak to so many new people as well as good friends from the scene. If you would like to know more about my approach to comics, architecture, process, influences and more, you can listen to a chat I had with Steve Walsh on the third episode of his excellent new podcast, Process. The show can be found [HERE]
Thanks again to all who continue to support and enjoy my work and I shall hopefully have some new projects for you soon. In the meantime, here is a previously unreleased, one page archi-comic I drew called: We Don't know What It Was, But We Missed It When It Was Gone.
Avery Hill Publishing are releasing four new exciting titles and to celebrate this, they're having a party, taking place at Orbital Comics on Friday 11th of July. The latest volume of the anthology 'Reads' will be part of the launch line up, which excitingly features my latest Megatherium Club story; 'Skeleton Crew'. I will be there and happy to sign and draw in things if I'm not too drunk.
I Illustrated and designed these summer party invites for an upcoming riverside soiree at a design studio. There will be food, pimms and it will be by a river, so it was important to cover all bases with the illustrations.
I finally got around to visiting the Horniman Museum in Forest Hill and I have to say, it wildly exceeded my expectations. Such a great place and it inspired me to create this portrait of the man himself.
You can learn more more about the man and the museum by listening to Episode 83 of South London Hardcore, the indispensable South London podcast.
Part I came out in 2011 and was my first foray into the world of comics, since then I feel I've learnt a huge amount and encountered a whole stack of lovely people who have inspired and encouraged me to keep on doing what I love doing. I have many exciting comic plans for the future, but Billboards has been a constant and very much feels like the end of that chapter.
Thanks to all who have bought it over the years, I've been overwhelmed by how many of you seem to enjoy the series. I would offer more personalised thanks, but I will surely miss people out, so before I get in any way sentimental, here it is, part VI 'The Rise'. As always, you can get it at GOSH! Comics and of course from me directly.