COMICSCENE REVIEW: “Quarantine Comix” By Rachael Smith

“Quarantine Comix” has that rare opportnity for a comic series to reasonate with the majority of the population (of the UK anyway), dealing as it does with the pandemic that has thrown most people’s lives into disarray.

Rachael Smith (“The Rabbit”, “Wired Up Wrong”) decided that one way to keep her mind fizzling along during lockdown was to draw a short comic strip every day, based on her real feelings and experiences, like being away from her boyfriend and confusing her cat by being inall the time. Those who follow her on platforms like Facebook were treated to these cartoons, and I’m sure there’s plenty out there who are very pleased to see them getting a collected release.

It was never the plan, because the plan was to try and stay at least a little bit sane. The strips often feature two imaginary dogs that represent Rachael’s depression and bad thoughts on one side, and het optimism and good thoughts on the other. We also get her cat, Rufus, plus her housemate, best friend and unreachable (for most of the book) boyfriend Rob.

Subtitled “A Memoir Of Life In Lockdown”, the strips within really pull at your heartstrings at times, and I’m sure many will recognise the feelings of hopelessness that fight against creativity and positivity. Amongst all that are plenty of strips that are simply Rachael being Rachael – a daft, funny and above all normal(ish) person forced to live her life a brand new way. Of course, we have all had different lockdown experiences, but although mine is different to Rachael’s I really felt a kinship with her when reading much of this.

“Quarantine Comix” could have been a total downer, but whenever it makes you sad there’s always a virtual hug and a laugh round the corner. By the end, you really feel that you know the author, and this makes it a very brave book. Smith lays her soul pretty bare for all to see, and you skip between feeling sorry for her and laughing at her observations and antics. Relatable, amusing and heart wrenching, “Quarantine Comix” will make you feel better about all this shite, whilst introducing you to a new friend, her cat and her plague foof (you’ll have to read the book).

When you see see her at a con, though, DON’T give a her a book by Rachael Stott to sign, and don’t expect free drawings. See – I learned things!

RELEASE DATE: 13th May (Pre order from Amazon and get FREE stickers!)

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