Safe From Harm by Joan Edam


I ventured to Small Press Day in Edinburgh last weekend. In a room off the lower sub-basement of the magnificent and sprawling Edinburgh Central Library (enjoy it now before it gets turned into a hotel/student flats/luxury apartments.) The very first person I met was Joan who charmed me into picking up some of his work. I’m glad I did.

The first thing I noticed about this comic – or actually 3 comics in a lovely autographed sleeve – is the paper, it appears to have been drawn on graph paper. Like the kind you get in maths class. Or at least the kind I got in maths class in the far distant Twentieth Century, which I probably did doodle on during terrible double maths lessons. The vibe is set, boring and maybe stressful and unpleasant reality with escape through the medium of comics.

The ‘doodling on graph paper’ aesthetic is misleading however. The author is a fine artist and the world he escapes into is weird, surreal and full of peril. Escaping to a perfect bolt-hole treehouse filled with books and comics sounds great. But outside there are malevolent grinning giant cat creatures. They want to play with you and feed you, whether you like it or not. Now we know how the cats feel.

Alice in Wonderland, but on the drowsy kind of anti-histamines not the regular kind and certainly not laudanum, or at least I don’t think so.

Safe From Harm available from Special Dudes Comix

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