Page 45 Review by Stephen
There is nothing I love more than mischief.
And when it comes cloth-covered in kindness, I love it even more!
I love it when writers and artists - or indeed anyone else - understand and trust each other to the point where they relish having fun poked at them!
Me and our Dee are constantly teasing each other on the shop floor. We've worked with each other for nearly twenty years now, mocking our own mannerisms, our failings and foibles whilst poking each other in the metaphorical ribs all day long. It makes me so happy.
This too makes me very happy indeed!
Produced to promote The Lakes International Comic Art Festival 2014 and on sale there all weekend, this laugh-until-you-cry comic stars its Poblin's Gang of hyperactive, completely deluded yet infectiously exuberant red, furry mascots.
Designed by POP! A COMPLETE HISTORY's Jonathan Edwards, brought to lush, three-dimensional life by CREATURE COUTURE's Felt Mistress and then photographed here by FATALE's Sean Phillips, the Poblins are each as individual as the Banana Splits and are en masse an insane force of nature to be reckoned with. Now they are coming to town!
The town is Kendal, home to The Lakes International Comic Art Festival 2014 in this, its second year, and the town doesn't quite know what's hit it.
These gleeful nutters have made studious notes on which comicbook creators will be appearing where and when (Scott McCloud, Becky Cloonan, Jeff Smith, Mary and Bryan Talbot, Glyn Dillon, Lizz Lunney, Dan Berry, Eddie Campbell, Junko Mizuno et al) but seem singularly fixated on artist and patron, Sean Phillips.
"We really hit it off when I visited his studio," claims Poblin. "When I climbed up his drainpipe to wave at him through his studio window he screamed with delight that I was back again!"
Poor Sean! As for Poblin's unauthorised helping hand to TRAINS ARE MINT's Oliver East and his painstakingly painted, black and white murals, it was at that point that tears of laughter ran down my face right there on the bus back home.
This too, from queen of the zines, Zinny:
"My first was called "Zinny's Zine" then I teamed up with my friend Dan on "Zinny's Zine With Dan", then I thought it would be funny to do a zine about Zinedine Zidane with Dan called "Zinny's Zinedine Zidane With Dan". Then I got writer's cramp."
Poblin himself is the most manic and crush-worthy creation in town! Fall for his lop-sided lunacy, gawp at his gormless grin and then hug him to death for his wide-eyed naivety and the most tactile, svelte pelt in history!
Photographed by Sean Phillips against Kendal's green grass and then framed on the reddest paper in history, our comic-crash casualties come truly alive! Those colours are to die for.
I so, so want to meet them. I wonder if they'll wander into Page 45's Georgian Room in Kendal's Clock Tower where we will have over £12,000 worth of the most diverse and individualistic comics and graphic novels on sale and where we are playing host to so many of those creators noted earlier: http://www.page45.com/world/2014/02/page-45-celebrates-its-20th-anniversary-at-the-lakes-international-comic-art-festival-2014/
If so, I pray they will allow themselves to be photographed with us and by us - unless poor Sean has recovered enough from Poblin's last apparition to stop by himself. I want this so much. I don't normally fall for the hirsute but if Poblin ever exhibits any, you know, "tendencies", then I've begged the magnificent Felt Mistress to let me know.
I'd send Poblin flowers, but he'd probably eat them.
The Lakes International Comic Art Festival 2014 takes place from 17th to 19th October. This is its website: http://www.comicartfestival.com/ This is its programme: http://issuu.com/licaf/docs/licaf_main_programme2014issuu?e=13522171/9279963
All proceeds from our sales go directly to the Lakesfest: we're not taking a penny. We're doing this because we believe in this festival with all our hearts plus its director and curator, Julie Tait, is a complete and utter star.
There: I've said it.
Big hugs also to the Lakesfest's Jenny, Sandra and Sharon without whose organisational acumen - equal only to Julie's - exhibitors would be dazed and confused. You are all so loved and thank you.