SMOO 9 reviews

My latest zine, SMOO #9 has had a couple more great reviews from Andy Oliver (Broken Frontier) and Richard Bruton (Forbidden Planet International).

 

“If you’re unsure of Moreton’s work, suffice it to say that this is another chapter in a wonderful series, comics as lyrical things, minimalist poetry, the reader’s imagination important in filling in things, drawing every ounce of meaning from the few lines on the page. And although there may be few lines, every one is important, every one contributes, simplicity is truly beautiful”.

 Richard Bruton, Forbidden Planet International

“In some ways [the inclusion of prose is] a quantum shift in storytelling terms from a creator whose work usually invites the reader to take their own meaning from its pages. What the prose offerings do retain in their own way, however, is Moreton’s skilful ability to speak to his audience on a shared emotional level – to engender, as he always does, empathic feelings based on similar life experiences… it’s Moreton’s command of the page even in these written passages that most impresses – the timing, the pacing, the impact as he breaks up paragraphs across pages to evoke an emotional response from  the audience is sublime in its delivery.”

Andy Oliver, Broken Frontier

Buy the zine here

12 Month Zine Subscription

Get everything I make in a year sent directly to your door! 

Zines! Drawings! Art! Things!

For a limited time, I’m offering a subscription service where, for one up-front payment, I’ll send you a copy of everything I make in a twelve month period!

What will I get?

You’ll receive:

  • new issues of my autobiographical comic zine, SMOO*
  • other zines of comics, writing, and drawing
  • original artwork
  • letters
  • other stuff

The subscription runs from June 29th 2015 to June 28th 2016. Please note, the sub won’t include things I’ve released before the start date, nor things of mine published by other people. If you’re already a SMOO subscriber and would like to take part in this, get in touch and we can sort something out.

What does it cost?

UK £35 inc P&P
Overseas £50 inc P&P

Subscribe by June 16th 2015!

Subscribe here

New comic in the official TCAF digital anthology

I have a piece in the FREE TCAF 2015 digital anthology! It’s been made special for iPad, and released by Sequential, who have this to say:

“This exclusive Anthology features specially created, brand new comics from an amazing collection of comic artists including Hunt Emerson, Barbara Stok, Noah Van Sciver, Kristyna Baczynski, Simon Moreton, Margreet de Heer, Joe Decie and Elaine M. Will, all of whom are appearing and/or exhibiting at TCAF this year, as well as cover artwork from Charles Burns.

It’s completely FREE to download – and it’s only available on SEQUENTIAL. It will be available over TCAF and until May 11th, with each download helping to earn money for TCAF – so snap it up quickly, and please tell your friends to download it too!”

Download here!

TCAF_excerpt

Against getting it right: autobiographical comics

A little while ago, Sophia Foster-Dimino started a conversation on Twitter by asking, “People who hate autobio comics: why do you hate autobio comics?”  In the conversation that followed (aggregated and annotated by Sophia here), a number of people shared their thoughts; about how they felt about reading and making autobio comics; about the stage readers or artists are at in their life when they first encounter them or try and make them; how the genre acts as an entry point for many artists, who end up making other forms of art afterwards; how the genre can lead to artistic and personal stigmatisation; the dominance of the white male gaze; how different voices can be silenced by choosing to work in the genre, and how others are empowered to speak via it; and how difficult it is to do ‘well’.

Here are a few tweets that stuck out for me:

“i think a lot of hate for autobio is directed at women and young creators who make autobio tbh…”
“…like, when a guy does it, it’s deep and introspective and blah blah blah, but when a woman makes an autobio comic it’s shallow”

“too many tedious misunderstood sensitive self-absorbed privileged males seem to be making them.”

“I don’t hate autobio comics but I hate a certain voice in autobio comics…mainly consensus, shallow and incurious ideas of mundanity as realism”

“I think the complexity of doing them well is betrayed by the ease of finding the subject matter”

“art is kind of self indulgent? But who cares? Someone is communicating something. Let them do it.”

I think these tweets spoke to four themes that I felt were important for me to think about:

  • My voice
  • What I say with it
  • How I say it
  • What I like to hear in other peoples’ voices

OR

  • My ability to speak – who empowers and disempowers whom to make stuff
  • The responsibility of my voice – how I might share my story but not silence others while I’m doing it
  • My attempts to speak – how I learn to develop my voice and make the art I want to, or at least get on the journey of making that art
  • My taste – what I like to see in other people’s work, as a consequence of the above, and lots of other stuff besides, and why

As someone making zines and comics that are almost without exception autobiographical in nature, I worry about this stuff a lot. For instance, here are some things I’ve been wondering:

I deeply believe we should feel empowered to make sense of the world we live in, and who we are in it, through creative pursuits; but do we automatically deserve an audience just because we’re choosing to do that?Do we have a right to be heard just because we decided to speak?

Does my speaking (as a white, straight cis male) stop other people from speaking, or being heard? Certainly, as the Twitter conversation attests, many makers have direct experience of criticism of their work based on their gender, ethnicity, sexuality, background, status and so on. Do I unwittingly take part in this? If I do, isn’t the way I talk IN my comics that does it, or the way I talk ABOUT my comics? Or is it both?

Should I be saying anything? Do I even have anything to say?

What about my style? How do you find your own voice in a medium so defined by the tightrope it walks between the profound and the redundant? If it doesn’t connect with people, are we more compelled to become critical of its failure to connect with us than other genres because of its intimate contents?

Does a lack of connection with my audience imply a failure of artist, or a failure of form?

Am I any good?
Am I doing it right?

Continue reading “Against getting it right: autobiographical comics”