Before I begin I want to say Zoe Thorogood has probably more creative talent in her little finger than I could possibly ever muster. I was SO looking forward to this book from the moment when Avery Hill announced it.
So starting with a negative is hard. It’s the lettering. It’s so small, I couldn’t read it. Which is pretty important for a comic book. Thankfully my 14 year old son couldn’t read it either, so it wasn’t just an age thing (I wear reading glasses 🤓). So I had to go out and buy a magnifying glass. I kid you not. (You might not have to, as it may have just been me!)
Now every cloud has a silver lining. Reading the text with a magnifying glass meant I had a much closer look at the line art. Which is magnificent.
This book was everything I hoped it would be. There is a touch of Philip Bond and a top class illustrator. It’s not just well drawn, with characters and background settings coming to life with a mixed understated pallet of colour. The use of the medium to tell the story and highlight Billie Scott’s creativity is really clever. It builds to a satisfying end.
In some ways I thought I was walking through a modern day Wizard of Oz, meeting fully fledged characters along the way. There is some youthful psycho babble but that’s how these characters would talk. There is angst as Billie works through her issues and her craft.
They say write what you know and you wonder if some of these thoughts have worked their way into the creators brain from time to time. Indeed Zoe hints at an altercation with an art teacher about her early passion for comics and silly drawings. The drive to produce such a book can be seen not just in the finished article but in the content of the story itself. Many comic creators will relate and lap it up, as well as the readers who will enjoy it.
I come back to my first point. The talent on show here is awe inspiring. Its accomplished and you wonder what else Zoe has building inside her. If the Impending Blindness of Billie Scott is anything to go by we should expect a future collection of classic work. This is a great book and should be in your collection. I hope she gets to produce another comic in the future.