Joining us today for the latest in our annual festive tradition of daily guest Best of the Year posts (see here for the previous ones) through December we welcome a creator who has, I can’t help but notice now we have a number of BoY posts up, been featuring on quite a few of them for his Nao of Brown, it’s Glyn Dillon:
FPI: Can you pick three comics/webcomics/graphic novels which you especially enjoyed over the last twelve months and tell us why you singled them out?
Glyn: Not all my choices originated in 2012, it’s been a pretty hectic year, so I might be late to the party on one or two things, but I’ve done my best to keep it within the obvious boundaries. But these are all things I’ve enjoyed this past year…
Comics, webcomics, graphic novels… It’s impossible to pick just three if I was allowed to cheat a bit, I’d have all the nominees for the British Comic Awards, but with the addition of Simone Lia’s ‘Please God Find Me a Husband‘. But I’m not allowed…
…so I’m going to choose my three from further afield.
‘The Forming‘ by Jesse Moynihan, is laugh out loud funny. I love the subject matter but especially the ‘down to earth’ (and completely mental) way he played it. The line “I’m making brown” made me spit my tea out.
Bastien Vivès’s ‘A Taste of Chlorine‘ – Very simple and beautiful story about a boy and girl who meet at the public swimming baths… it has an elusiveness about it, it’s like a good poem, almost kōan-like.
I also really enjoyed the Jaime Hernandez take on super heroes with his ‘God & Science – Return of the Ti-Girls‘. I’m not really a fan of the super hero genre, but he delivers it in such a fun way, it’s hard to resist it’s charm. It almost feels as though it’s from an alternative universe, a universe where super hero comics are good.
And then, I guess, kind of from the same genre (and that same alternative universe), I love Jillian Tamaki‘s ‘Super Mutant Academy‘ web comic. I was maybe a bit late to the party with her, I only read (the amazing) Skim this year, but it’s always worth checking in on her website, she’s does great stuff, (I love a bit of embroidery). I also think Eleanor Davis, Emily Carroll and Lucy Knisley produce consistently excellent work that you can find on the web.
FPI: Can you pick three books which you especially enjoyed over the last twelve months and tell us why you singled them out?
Glyn: This last year I’ve not really had time to read prose books… only re-entering a reading phase now, reading and travelling are my preferred method for finding inspiration. Surrounded by different architecture often seems to work, but especially in tandem with the right book.
FPI: Can you pick three TV shows and/or movies which you especially enjoyed over the last twelve months and tell us why you singled them out?
Glyn: ‘Fresh Meat‘, especially the ‘acid episode’, at the end of the first series, with the horse dying, I was laughing and crying simultaneously – superb television. The new series hasn’t disappointed yet either – Whoever styles Vod is genius… Loved her Ziggy Stardust look in the ‘Frobisher’ episode.
A bit of drama from the BBC – ‘One Night‘ was superb, Jessica Hynes particularly – Most people think of her as a comedy actress/writer. This really showed just how good she is in a straight dramatic role – incredible, moving performance, especially when the coppers came knocking.
Somehow watching films demands just a bit more time and effort than the odd TV show, so I didn’t get to the cinema much over the last year. However, after finishing the book and then coming out of hospital there was a few weeks where I was able to catch up with some DVDs. And I finally got round to seeing Hal Ashby’s ‘The Landlord’. Ashby is one of my favourite directors and this was his first film as a director (previously he worked as an editor), most people will be familiar with ‘Harold & Maude’, ‘The Last Detail’ or ‘Shampoo’, but he really hit the ground running with ‘The Landlord’, a story about a young aristocrat (Beau Bridges) who buys a run down tenement building with the intention of evicting it’s black tenants, in order to live there alone. I love the way Ashby alternates between tones, mixing humour with a real seriousness and pathos.
In terms of something more recent, I just saw PT Anderson’s ‘The Master’. Again, Anderson is one of my favourite directors, ‘Punch Drunk Love’ is easily in my all time, top five films and ‘There Will Be Blood’ was breathtaking.
I really want to see ‘The Master’ again, as soon as possible, but I can say without doubt Joaquin Phoenix’s performance as a chronic alcoholic, whose body has been gnarled by constant abuse, is incredible.
FPI: How did 2012 go for you as a creator? Are you happy with the way you got your work out this year?
Glyn: In the end yes, there’ll always be things you wished you’d done differently, but on the whole, yes. The beginning of the year was the toughest ever, working almost 24-7, I ended up in a really bad way. But it’s easy to forget all that, now the book’s done and finished, sitting on the shelf. It’s been an up and down, eventful year, but with a happy ending (you can read a guest Commentary by Glyn talking us through some of the making of the Nao of Brown here on the blog – Joe).
FPI: What can we look forward to from you in 2013?
Glyn: I doubt there’ll be much in the way of comics by me published in 2013. I’m mainly gonna be back doing storyboards for a while and comics in my spare time. But I will be showing up to a few festivals and conventions I hope.
I have started on a new book, but only very early stages, as in rough thoughts, a few notes in my phone. Need to do a bit more reading and travelling.
FPI: Anyone you think is a name we should be watching out for next year?
Glyn: More Frederick Peeters please. I found Blue Pills very inspiring, especially something Peeters said in an interview about it, something along the lines of… “It’s only a graphic novel, nobody cares…”. This was exactly the thing I needed to hear when starting out on Nao, it helped to keep the pressure off, stopped me being too precious about it all.
Then I was surprised and interested to see his change of style with Sandcastle, a brilliant ‘Twilight Zone’ type story, where he manages to age all the characters without confusing the reader, brilliant, clear, masterful story-telling. Pachyderme with it’s rightly deserved foreword by the late Jean Giraud Moebius, is another excellent book. I think Peeters and Giraud have quite a bit in common.
When I was in St. Malo for the BD festival, my French hosts were waxing lyrical about Peeter’s beautiful big book called LUPUS. So I bought it, despite not being able to read French… And now there’s his ‘officially selected for Angouleme’ series called ‘Aâma‘ which I really like the look of. Peeters is for me, one of the most exciting talents alive today. But obviously he’s an already much appreciated artist with a big body of work… I mention him here, just because I’d like to see more of his work translated into English next year.
In terms of newer faces we should be watching out for – I just read The Silver Darlings by Will Morris, a beautiful short story about a young man going out on the fishing boats with his father… Amazing artwork, like Gipi but with the additional sharpness of Mignola. Will started the book whilst still at Camberwell college, so he’s got a long career ahead of him, I’m really looking forward to seeing what he does next and how his work develops. I hope he sticks with comics.
Another amazingly talented newcomer is Robert Ball, his self published ‘A Winter’s Knight’, which debuted at Thought Bubble this year, is a real thing of beauty, amazing bold shapes and beautiful balanced compositions, he’s like the bastard love child of McMahon & Mignola.
Speaking of Mikes, I really like Michael DeForge‘s work, I picked up some of his stuff at SPX, it’s beautifully bizarre and intricate stuff, he’s another, ‘next generation’ genius in the making, as is our own Luke Pearson.
Lastly, I’m really looking forward to part two of the Rob Davis adaptation of Don Quixote, as well as another Joe Decie collection. I’m also hoping for some Emily Carroll and Warwick Johnson Cadwell books, but nice big, real ones, that I can hold in my hands please.