• Lead

    ELCAF Poster by Chris Ware

Illustration

Five of the best comics we found while at ELCAF 2014

Posted by James Cartwright,

Last weekend we spent an intermittently rainy Saturday traipsing up and down ELCAF’s rows of tables, laden with brightly coloured printed matter of all kinds. There were comics, zines, pots and prints, giant hardbacks printed by the thousand and tiny little editions of hand-made graphic novels, not to mention the talks by titans of the comics community like Jesse Moynihan, Seth and Chris Ware. For those of us who compulsively collect anything that pairs paper with ink it was an extremely satisfying day out so we thought we’d give you a quick (and limited) rundown of some of the great stuff on display.

The Insects

  • Antcolonycover300

    Michael DeForge: Ant Colony

  • 1-ant-revise.jpg

    Michael DeForge: Ant Colony

  • 1ant2

    Michael DeForge: Ant Colony

Michael DeForge has been making comics about ants for ages. Something about their ruthless nature and fleeting lifespans seems to appeal to him enormously. In his hands those nondescript little insects become vehicles for serious comedy, perpetrating the most loathsome acts of violence with reckless abandon and then suffering the same in turn. In his first full-length graphic novel, Ant Colony, Michael explores the lives of numerous ants within the colony, each of them teetering on the brink of destruction at any moment from vicious spiders or careless centipedes. Sure it sounds pretty heavy, but it’s just really, really funny – and fantastically drawn too.
www.kingtrash.com

The Moon-Headed Man

  • Moonhead_014

    Andrew Rae: Moonhead And The Music Machine

  • Presently_phew03.tif_1

    Andrew Rae: Moonhead And The Music Machine

  • Presently_phew05.tif_1

    Andrew Rae: Moonhead And The Music Machine

Joey Moonhead was a character that first cropped up in Andrew Rae’s contribution to Nobrow’s A Graphic Cosmogony, but now he’s got his own graphic novel. Moonhead And The Music Machine tells the rags-to-riches story of an outcast teenage boy with a moon for a head who finds acceptance from the cool kids at his school talent contest. But all is not as it seems…. Again this is a debut graphic novel from a man who’s been a prolific talent in illustration for a long time. God know’s how long it must have taken Andrew to draw everything with the precision he does; but it was undoubtedly worth the effort.
www.andrewrae.org.uk

The Best Pot Ever

  • Content_facepotblog

    William Edmonds: Face Pot

I’ve wanted one of Will Edmonds’ pots with faces for about two years. And so I bought one from him at ELCAF. Sure it’s not strictly a comic – in fact it has nothing to do with comics – but it’s a beautiful object all the same and makes your weekend coffee that much more exciting.
www.williamedmonds.co.uk

The Comic You Can’t Get in the UK

  • On13_shot

    Adrian Tomine: Optic Nerve 13

  • On13-page1_1000

    Adrian Tomine: Optic Nerve 13

  • Opticnerve13_1

    Adrian Tomine: Optic Nerve 13

  • Opticnever13_2

    Adrian Tomine: Optic Nerve 13

The great thing about events like ELCAF is that you get access to things that you can’t find at home. There are no UK distributors for Adrian Tomine’s fantastic serial Optic Nerve, so when the Drawn & Quarterly guys come and visit it’s always advisable to stock up on the rarities. Optic Nerve 13 contains three new, original stories; an autobiographical page, a complex relationship born from a self-help group and an elegiac ode to a journey home. As ever with Adrian Tomine it’s not light reading, but his sensitive storytelling shines through gently nudging you to empathise with his complex characters.
www.adrian-tomine.com

The Empty House

  • 1small

    Antoine Cossé: NWAI

  • 6small

    Antoine Cossé: NWAI

  • 10small

    Antoine Cossé: NWAI

  • 12small

    Antoine Cossé: NWAI

  • 13small

    Antoine Cossé: NWAI

NWAI is a brand new comic by Antoine Cossé that was printed by Breakdown Press mere days before ELCAF took place, so the ink still smelled fresh. It tells the story of a jilted lover who takes out his anger for his ex on his beautiful Modernist home; filling the swimming pool with his piss, setting fire to the surrounding gardens and colouring in all the concrete walls. He also befriends a giant tiger, but that’s more to do with loneliness than rage. Antonine’s pacing is spot on in this story, and his subtle use of colour allows the protagonist’s memories to permeate the panels and add further depth to the story. Also for a comic that was apparently put together in a rush int’s an extremely accomplished achievement.
www.antoinecosse.tumblr.com

Jc

Posted by James Cartwright

James started out as an intern in 2011 and came back in summer of 2012 to work online and latterly as Print Editor, before leaving in May 2015.

Most Recent: Illustration View Archive

  1. Sarahtanatjones_carmen_itsnicethat_list

    The opera isn’t a staple on my cultural calendar but its alluring arias and ostentatious costumes seem so exotic and intriguing that perhaps I should let the dramatic melodies permeate my ear drums more often. Especially when institutions like the Scottish Opera seem keen on engaging people of all ages by enlisting the illustrative talents of London-based Sarah Tanat-Jones.

  2. Kalda-men-and-cats-hemingway-list

    When we last left Sam Kalda we promised to keep an eye on the Brooklyn-based illustrator. With a portfolio already bursting with editorial work for stateside publications like The New York Times, WWD, and The Wall Street Journal, we thought it was high time to spotlight one of his personal projects.

  3. Camilla_perkins_itsnicethat_list

    Camilla Perkins is based in Brighton, and her illustrations use only the brightest hues which I hope are influenced by her seaside surroundings. We’ve not featured Camilla’s pictures since 2013, and it’s great to see how her style has developed since then. Shying away from collections of objects, it seems Camilla’s been perfecting her skills in illustrating the human form and the result is wonderful. Her figures are mainly surrounded by basic props and shapes, but the faces and features of her characters are marked out carefully in scratchy lines. In some images bold expanses of pattern applied as floors or walls are a lovely addition to all the brightness and it’s these details that really make Camilla’s work stand out.

  4. Byop_int_list

    Earlier this month, the Serpentine Pavilion opened to the public. The beguiling, multicoloured woven structure designed by Spanish architects SegnasCalgo sits in Hyde Park like a more grown-up version of a fort you might have built when you were a child. Over the last decade and a half the annual architecture commission has become a much-anticipated beacon of design, and to celebrate 15 years of the Summer Pavilion, the Serpentine Galleries have teamed up with Kidesign, Marina Willer and the team at Pentagram to launch a digital platform and national campaign to foster the aspiring young architects of tomorrow.

  5. Faye-moorhouse-wonky-movie-posters-itsnicethat-list

    Occasionally, when you happen across a particularly good one, looking at a series of work by an illustrator feels like glimpsing the world through their eyes for a moment, and that’s more or less how I feel looking at Faye Moorhouse’s new series Wonky Movie Poster Show. “I illustrated 20 movie posters,” she said in her email earlier this week. “They are weird and ugly and hopefully funny.” And I can testify that they are in fact all three.

  6. Mads_berg_itsnicethat_list

    Danish illustrator Mads Berg’s modern take on the classic poster has seen him clock up an international client list including Wired, Monocle, Legoland and Carlsberg. His portfolio is filled with gloriously soft colours that emphasise his bold brushstrokes and simply constructed figures.

  7. Elcaf-itsnicethat-list

    One weekend a year Hackney is flooded with comic-lovers clutching armfuls of printed matter between clammy hands. The reason for their being there is ELCAF, the East London Comics and Arts Festival, which is as good as a church for those who worship zines, comics, prints and books as though print were their religion and indie bookshops their altars.

  8. Owen_gatley_itsnicethat_list

    We last featured illustrator Owen Gatley back in 2012, and since then his client list has expanded impressively. Creating work for Condé Nast Traveller and airline magazines such as German Wings magazine and Jet Away, Owen has carved a lovely niche for himself through his travel-themed editorial illustrations. Simply outlined characters with expressive faces run across beaches, explore while on safari and ski past chalets. Cheerful, bright and charming, his most recent work is a joy to look at and instantly whisks me away to the destinations he’s depicting.

  9. Benedicte-muller-itsnicethat-list-

    If you were to make a Venn diagram out of art and illustration, you could safely pop Bénédicte Muller’s beautiful work right in the middle. Executed with a painterly finesse and an admirable attention to detail, her pieces naturally straddle the two disciplines, so even commissioned work for clients like The New York Times and Vanity Fair feels like a personal project. Geometric shapes and sharp lines recur throughout her portfolio, as do silhouettes which are carefully overlapped to create double meanings wherever possible. Bénédicte’s entire body of work has a considered air about it which makes it a pleasure to peruse.

  10. Rebecca-clarke-riposte-itsnicethat-list

    Over the two years that have passed since its inception Riposte magazine has established a solid place for itself on newsstands as “a smart magazine for women.” Now that the magazine is in its fourth issue, editor-in-chief Danielle Pender was keen to avoid needless changes in favour of upholding the high standard which it has already set.

  11. Amandine_urruty_itsnicethat_list

    There’s something charmingly bizarre about Amandine Urruty’s illustrations. Like Victorian portraits, the French artist’s characters sit quietly, are well-behaved and have excellent posture but the subjects and the commotion that surrounds them is what makes them so interesting.

  12. Mrzyk_and_moriceau_its_nice_that_list

    Freud would love Petra Mrzyk & Jean-François Moriceau’s illustrations. Better known as Mrzyk & Moriceau, the eccentric creative duo famed for their risqué, offbeat illustrations have built a portfolio heavy on pop erotica out of their French studio. Their surreal, sometimes kaleidoscopic images play with body parts, black humour and innuendo, toeing the line between the dreamlike and the lustful in a way only France seems to cultivate. Using the bare bones of illustration their almost exclusively black and white line drawings are no less stirring for their simplicity, and between them they’ve built something of a cult following for their music video animations for musicians like Air and the modern-day Serge Gainsbourg, Sébastien Tellier. In tribute to their favourite part of the female anatomy, the latter of these is a hypnotic rear-view animation of a girl walking. Here we’ve handpicked an evocative edit from the provocateurs’ body of work.

  13. Raptor-sam-glynn-its-nice-that-list

    Sam Glynn is behind some very smart editorial illustrations, and they’re not a style we post about too often. The complex surface appearances are gorgeous, and created through a painstaking process of sketching, adding geometric shapes in Illustrator and finally building up layers of texture in Photoshop – sometimes as many as hundreds of them. These layers are taken from scans of “print rollers, brush strokes, inks or anything that makes a mark on the page,” as Sam told Ape on the Moon.