These two anthologies is the new product of the WIP comics collective, a group of like minded creators from London who have been brought together by Stutter’s Joe Stone. As you might guess from the names, Success and Failure are both themed around the subjects and feel like a very apt pair of topics for this unsettled year.
Publisher: WIP Comics
Price: £8 in print or £5 in digital from www.wipcomics.co.uk
WIP’s Success and Failure brings together a diverse selection of creators and so it makes for a really interesting and eclectic read. We always prefer an anthology with a theme or something tying the book together and these definitely benefit from having that focus.
As with all anthologies there are some which work and some which don’t however each offering is kept relatively short and so they never out stay their welcome, which is good. The styles are very mixed and range from classic cartoon (Mat Barrell), to mixed media (Chloe Starling), digital (Isabel Dishington) and even simple pencil style (Bruno Stead). While the the content range from slice of life, to esoteric thought pieces and even some genre pieces too. The topics range from the serious to the funny to the down right ridiculous and there is a really nice balance throughout, with no one style or tone dominating.
Of the two we enjoyed Success more, with stand out offerings such as: Rebecca K Jones Success Re-Framed – a beautifully rendered double page spread montage of photos frames and memories; Olivia Suladea’s Success – a gorgeous autumnal coloured though piece on memory and time which reminded us of B. Mure’s Ismyre books (see above); and Second Fiddle by Jess Hannar – a simple story about her musical up bringing, with the simple classy style of Lucy Bellwood or even Erika Moen.
However Failure also has it’s great offerings: Miki Shaw’s paintings about parenthood really resonated with our own experiences; Rachel Tubb’s Lupelangelo –about a renaissance era dog and his flying trying to reach to the moon has a certain Nobrow-esque quality to it, especially in the colours (see above) and Patrick and Ryan O’Reilly’s Cofiwych Tokuyama has a really intricate almost Euro style to it (see below).
Perhaps our favourite of the lot though was Joe’s own ‘Creative Block‘ from Success. It’s a meta story about creative styles which sees Joe draw self portraits in a variety of styles from European, to noir, to horror, to slice of life, via a number of brilliant parodies of well known cartoonists. It’s a a really clever piece of self aware cartooning, that manages to not be too over clever, and ultimately just shows real range from Joe.
If you are fans of art house anthologies like the Broken Frontier Small Press Yearbook, Dirty Rotten Comics or experimental collections like Sliced Quarterly, then this is another great example. It’s a really interesting showcase for some of the UK’s up and coming talent and it’s great to see so many new names producing really interesting work during this challenging time. For us, both Success and Failure and huge successes!