Garnering nominations in no less than three different categories (Best Comic Book or Graphic Novel, Best Artist and Best Writer) in the Scottish Indie Comic Book Alliance’s (S.I.C.B.A.) 2013 awards, there was no way I was going to miss an opportunity to pick up Glasgow native Neil Slorance’s latest work.
Sticking firmly to a straightforward six-panel layout, Slorance tells a sweet, innocent and beautifully touching story about a female astronomer taking a break from her stressful life to go out and look at the stars. A creator-owned project in every sense of the word, Slorance provides the illustrations, the writing, even the lettering – which he uses to brilliantly creative effect along the way.
Slorance’s work has always had a charming innocence about it, and never is that more apparent than in this book. Whimsical, light-hearted and almost impossible to read without a smile on your face, the story simply consists of the astronomer narrating her exploration of the sky, weaving interesting factual titbits with quirky, humorous asides. Despite its relatively simple premise though, there’s an undeniable sense of wonder and quirkiness on display here that’s difficult not to be drawn in by.
The story also features a distant but incredibly poignant love story going on behind the scenes, providing even more touching moments along the way including an uplifting and deeply satisfying conclusion that should hopefully give us all a little sense of perspective about our otherwise hectic lives.
This is proof undeniable that comics don’t have to be edgy, dramatic or full of twists and turns to be successful. Sometimes all it takes is an honest look at someone taking great pleasure in doing the thing they love most. A true joy to read, and another testament to Mr Slorance’s undeniable talent.
The only thing I think could have added to the overall package would have been for it to be in colour, as Neil’s illustrations really come alive when given the full-colour treatment. That said though, it definitely didn’t detract from the comic too much (if at all).
And hey, when a comic contains such unforgettable lines as “It’s ma boy Saturn!”, it’s hard not to find yourself rooting for it to do well.
Highly, highly recommended.
You can buy copies of the book right now from Neil’s online store.
And on: Amazon Kindle @ The Amateur Astronomer’s Journal
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