Unlike Brunetti's anthology, Humberstone's is a curated, commissioned collection - each work in there has been made specifically for the anthology, playing to and challenging the volume's theme and tone. Like musicians in a band, these comic artists play off each other, and push themselves to live up to a really high collective standard. For the artist, they're no longer working in isolation, but instead have their work up there with some of the best and brightest from the UK comics scene.
Furthermore, I think it is through anthologies that we really get to show off how exciting a comics scene we have in the UK. From the charming pop-culture geekery of Marc Ellerby's Chloe Noonan and Adam Cadwell's Blood Blokes, through to the comic form journalism of Darryl Cunningham's Psychiatric Tales, or the David Lynchian horrors of Malcy Duff, we've got a really vibrant independent scene, and in anthologies we can display a unity and collective ambition that is less convincing when done alone.
For me it was a huge moment being invited to be in Solipsistic Pop 3, and an even bigger one to be invited back for volume 4. Each issue challenges me to do my best work and make something that goes well beyond what I have previously done. Over the next few weeks I'll hopefully be able to put up some of my work in progress, and you should definitely keep an eye on the Solipsistic Pop website for previews of other artists' work.
|Logo by Katie Green.|
Beyond Solipsistic Pop there's a lot more cool stuff out there, and more and more awesome anthologies on the horizon. David O'Connell's Ink + Paper and We Are Words + Pictures' Paper Science series are a couple of exciting examples. It's a really exhilirating time to be a comics artist, and if we support and spread the word about these collections, everyone benefits. As the UK comics scene grows, so will anthology series like Solipsistic Pop, and in on their shoulders new upstarts will push us ever forward. New creators will be spurred forward like I was, seeing work collected together that isn't shy about being ambitious, challenging and creative.
Yeah, so in other words, go buy!