Comics - Sliced (Quarterly) #10

There's good news and bad news for Steve Taylor-Bryant as he read Sliced (Quarterly) #10 edited by Ken Reynolds...

A beautiful grey cover by Jenny Brown opens this instalment and I excitedly read the Editorial to see what Ken Reynolds has in store for us now and I’m floored. Sliced is coming to an end! Reynolds explains his reasons for stopping after issue #12 and not even someone has heartless as me can begrudge him this decision, but nevertheless I can’t hide the fact I’m disappointed. I’ve loved this intriguing way of telling stories and the challenges they’ve presented to me as a reader and I’ve discovered some fantastic talent I didn’t know existed before but ending it is so I dry my eyes and continue. (A personal note to Ken if you’re reading this - I think taking some of the ideas that are explored in Sliced and making them maybe a long form book is an excellent idea and after time to reflect I firmly believe it is the next logical evolution in what you have achieved thus far. Keep going sir.)

The Promise by Adam Kindred

A man's epic journey that appears to go from modern technology of planes and taxis to the older explorer transport that the bearded mans garb suits of a boat in bad seas to a mysterious island. Ashes are released. Maybe the journey from new to old to release the ashes of a loved one is a great metaphor and maybe I’m reading too much into it, all I know is the no words pencil art way of telling a story is something I really admire and Adam Kindred has this collection off to a promising start.

Luck Increase by Eve

This story is just glorious. In its stunning art and beautiful colours, in its simple yet slightly quirky tale, and the final panel pay off actually made me laugh out loud. I really liked this strip, it was a sensual treatment for my eyes and some light relief for my overtired and ageing brain.

My Troubles With Crumb by Matt MacFarland

This story takes a look deep into comics and the creators of the past and delves into the way creatives have viewed women, touches on race, and shows that as a younger man in a different time this type of entertainment might have been brilliant but that over time you can and maybe should change your opinions and your world view. It ends with something I am constantly struggling with myself, the question of whether you can like something or someone’s artistic output but still be able to criticise it or them? Can you separate the art from the artist and vice versa? I still can’t answer that but to have a comic strip from a comic creator look at comics roles in this depth is refreshing and will hopefully spark the debate that may lead to the answer.

Leaves by S.J. McCune

Leaves is another story like so many over my time reading Sliced (Quarterly) that I just don’t have the intellectual capacity to understand. I loved the artwork, the colours again were very easy on the eye, and it’s good that I find myself challenged when I read something. Stories like Leaves, the little snippets into a creators brain at work are what I’m going to miss most when the collections end.

A Dark and Noisy Night script by Daniel Whiston letters by Ken Reynolds

It’s amazing to me, a non-creative, how you can tell a story in what is basically just very good lettering against panels of black. I cannot comprehend how someone thinks up a way of storytelling like this but I’m so glad they do and comics aren’t left to me. A real artistic breath of fresh air.

Farquhar part 4 by Tara Lucy

A one panel gorgeous piece of art telling a compelling story in what seems like a simple way but when you stare at the art, really look at it, it’s probably the most complex piece in the collection.

Small Press Preview - Magpie by Kathryn Briggs

Wow! The art in this preview is just stunning. A definite one to add to my list.

And so there we have it. Another Sliced (Quarterly) comes to end with me sat here marvelling at the artistic talent on display. I again liked some more than others, discovered new and exciting ways to use art to tell stories, and was once again challenged to think and open myself up to the different, to the new. Of all the enjoyable collections of Sliced (Quarterly) I’ve read and reviewed over time I think this latest collection is my favourite. I seemed to understand and grasp more this time around, like all the exposure to Sliced over the last year or so has made me somewhat smarter. All the creators I’ve read and enjoyed and some of the artwork is just stunning. My picks from this collection are tough to make this time around as the standard is so high but Luck Increase and The Promise were strong openers, Leaves left me wanting to be smarter but A Dark and Noisy Night just pips them all. I’d never experienced an artistic story told in this way before and only a good letterer could make this experience that enjoyable.

Follow Steve on Twitter @STBwrites

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Images - courtesy Sliced (Quarterly)

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