Friday, 30 November 2007

Mini-review: Dangnabbit 3



Creator: Peter Beare

Web-fu: Peter's website

Contact: Via Peter's website

Price: Free (I picked up my copy at Travelling Man in Manchester)

Summary: Why the hell aren't people paying Peter Beare to make comics?

Overview: If artists' personalities are reflected in their art, then I expect Peter, should I ever meet him, to be self-effacing, restrained and far more sophisticated than he seems at first glance. It's no secret that I'm a big fan of Peters and I've already waxed lyrical about his comics in the Judge Dredd Megazine. I'm pleased to say, then, that this latest issue of Dangnabbit gives me no reason to revise my previous high estimation of his work.

Dangnabbit 3 is a collection of Peter's web-strips, a strip originally submitted for inclusion in an anthology and a revised version of his entry for the Observer Graphic Short Story Competition. It's all good stuff, with only the occasional mis-step (there's a typo in one of the strips, but, given the quality of the overall package, I have to say that I'm really reaching here to find something to criticise).

The graphic storytelling in Dangnabbit is top-notch. Peter's art is stylish, but unfussy. Not for him unnecessarily flashy visuals. Instead, his clean line work ensures that his stories, or rather gag strips, are given room to breathe.

What then of the writing?

Well, if Peter isn't as accomplished when it comes to his writing as he is in terms of his art, then that's not a problem, because that still means that he's a talented writer. Most of the strips amuse and in some cases betray a pretty sick sense of humour and a bit of a fascination with serial killers. My personal favourite is Museum, perhaps because in this strip Peter experiments a little. Museum dispenses with words completely and uses images to portray its characters' speech. So, when a boy speculates about the contents of a box in a museum and suggests that it might contain eyeballs, Peter draws eyeballs instead of writing the word itself. It's a nice departure.

Basically, if you see this mini-comic then you should pick it up (there were several copies still left in Travelling Man today). And if you don't manage to find a copy of Dangnabbit 3? Visit Peter's website. There's plenty of stuff posted there that you can read for free and should you enjoy his work, well, I'm sure an email saying so wouldn't go amiss.

If you like this: you'll probably like John Welding.

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