It’s been a long wait for this one, as I backed the Kickstarter campaign back in August 2020. This morning it flopped through the letterbox, taking me by surprise, but a nice one, as the quality and heft of this A4 book/magazine is immediately evident.
At 110 pages cover to cover, Skrawl certainly offers decent value at £12 (plus post) with 13 strip sections of varying quality beefed up a little by a very in depth interview with comics legend Roger Longridge and a short text story.
I’ll admit, I wasn’t that taken at first, as the editors text at the beginning would have definitely put me off backing had it been on Kickstarter as a selling point. I know anthology titles always have a few things that tend to disappear up their own arse, but at least let me get to the comics!
Anyway, to the comics themselves. I can’t really go through all of them, but will say in full confidence that there’s enough quality material here to make sure no reader is left feeling short changed. My personal favourite is “And One Shall Surely Die” by Pete Taylor. I’ve not read him before, but this seems to be an ongoing mini universe featuring Catfood Comics, with this strip concerning a group of nerds arguing about which character from the publishers is the hardest. A simple premise, maybe, but Tayor adds humour and genuine emotion. Mark Stafford’s “Clash Of The Behmoths” is a Godzilla type story that made me laugh out loud, with Stafford’s art remeniscent of classic American indie art a la Gilbert Shelton. Special mention must go to the incredible art of Gustaffo Vargas, which brings alive “The Oak Tree” beautifully, drawing you into the story of a dog that goes astray and mad shit happens. I also enjoyed “Ascend” by Rosie Packwood, a sci fi sports strip that isn’t big or clever and just gets on with the job of showing a sporting event clearly and cleverly without the need for a twist ending. Finally, I’ll also give Nick Prolix a shout out, for his un-named (come on, guys, give the strips easy to find names!) political strip that is entertaining and educational, concerning protests and history, with a very approachable cartoon style.
Now just because I’ve dragged the above strips out front does not mean I didn’t enjoy the rest, and I must say that Skrawl has a very high hit rate, with just a couple that were “meh” for me. Wrapped up in nice thick covers adorned with a cool image, are glossy thick pages with some amazing art from a wealth of indie talent. Very recommended.