This is a partial and rough English version of my blog Just Indie Comics (Banner by Pat Aulisio)

giovedì 3 aprile 2014


Amy & Oliver Murrell, Wobbly Rock, Brighton (UK), December 2013, perfect bound, 32 pages, full color, 20 x 28 cm, £ 10.

After Wicked Chicken Queen by Sam Alden, I'm dealing once again with the unusual association between eggs and comics. Egg is the first work of Amy Murrell and her husband Oliver, who published in Brighton this elegant illustrated book for their new indie label Wobbly RockI defined Egg in this way because, being a large format paperback with full-page illustrations and a short text that recalls folk tales and myths of creation, it isn't a traditional comic book. And even in this an association with Alden's book can be found. The story and the style, however, go in another direction. Amy Murrell has drafted an essential, almost laconic text, while Oliver has followed Amy's layouts by creating a series of pictures that mix ink to digital. The fusion of text and drawings is effective, as indeed the choice of paper from responsible sources and the dominant color tending to a brown/dark green. Opening Egg is like entering in a forest, immediately threw into the central theme of the story, the relationship between man and nature.

An egg-man (no reference to I am the Walrus, I think...) awakens from a dream and gets out from an underground cave. He's carried in the woods by some birds, and there, after being housed in a nest, manages to break his shell and becomes human, as if he's reached the end of an initiatory rite. Now he looks like a South-American native or an Australian aborigine. When he arrives in town, a semi-devastated London, meets other egg-men, still in their shells and unable to live their full human potential. I'm not going to unveil the end and the other details of the story, that has a pretty clear interpretation.

The presence of a strong message, although shareable, is usually an obstacle when I approach a comic book or any other work of art, but in this case I have to say that the two authors didn't make Egg a pamphlet, leaving the readers with the opportunity to perform their own path between the different facets of the story and scattering here and there mysterious and evocative elements (the dream from which the main character wakes up, the strange beings coming close to the egg when it hatches, the devastation of some metropolitan areas).
As for the visual aspect, sometimes it seems clear that Egg is a debut work, since some solutions, especially in the initial part, are pretty basic, but the style becomes progressively more polished and achieves the best results in the final (the pages set in the city are definitely my favorites).
Egg is the first in a series of books printed by Wobbly Rock, which initially will be dedicated to the publication of the material of the two owners (there are already three other works in progress), evaluating the possibility of opening the doors to other artists only in a second phase. Obviously I wish all the best to this beautiful project.

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