‘That Comic Smell’ Comic
Mike Sedakat, Fernando Pons, David Robertson, Tom Stewart, John Tucker
I’ve often enjoyed a lazy Sunday afternoon listening to comics podcasts whilst pottering about and, well, reading comics. Among them is ‘That Comic Smell’. The hosts are all based around the original home of comics – Dundee. Beanoland itself. I spent some formative years in this fine city myself and I suspect that they put recycled Broons annuals in the drinking water given the strong comics culture of the city.
The TCS podcast made up in considered comics discussion what it lacked in sound quality. And the discussion is not just academic with the contributors taking an active and creative part in the UK small press scene. David Robertson is known to readers of this blog from his stalwart and ever original work on his own books like Break the Cake and But a Dream. Tom Stewart is a regular on various comics podcasts. Nando (Fernando Pons) is a gold mine of knowledge on European and especially Spanish comics. Mike Sedakat as well as being a cornerstone of the podcast is also a comics creator.
With the added contribution of the very talented John Tucker the team have now brought out an anthology featuring original comic strips. There is a lot to get your teeth into within these pages. Like most anthologies there will be strips that you dig more than others, which is fine. So let me tell you about some of my favourites.
Nobody by Tom with illustrations by David is a nice little strip taking on those difficult questions of culture and good taste – we have all had those ‘guilty pleasures’ discussions. Coldplay are shite though, sorry.
David Robertson also writes and draws It’s Doctor Time with the PM. Something of a critique of the little Englander world that our favourite Time Lord sometimes inhabits. Readers might like to know that Winston Churchill had such a tough time when he was a Liberal MP in Dundee that he allegedly put a curse on the city when leaving (defeated by a rival who was both a socialist and a prohibitionist!) An interesting tale and the bold colours and strong lines really mark out David’s contributions to this book.
Fernando Pons brings you the inside story of the TCS podcast in Any That Comic Smell Podcast, a story of tea, biscuits and Big Barda.
On the other end of the scale Mike Sedakat clearly has a taste for the epic. His stories Cosmic Jaunts and Aquila the Eagle are distinctly widescreen. Cosmic Jaunts introduces the fabulously named Edith Starshot who travels time with a sports jock Walter Lump. Aquila the Eagle opens up the world of mythology and legend with a Kirbyesque edge. These strips are ambitious and have potential although they still have a strong fanzine ‘back of a school jotter’ feel, which is not necessarily a bad thing.
Probably the highlight of the book is Rocket by Tom Stewart and John Tucker. A tale of jet packs and hubris whose dayglo colours reflect the theme of space age optimism.
The That Comic Smell Comic is imbued with a love of the comics medium from a very knowledgeable team. Strap on your jet pack and take a trip to Beanotown.