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Wednesday, 3 November 2010

In Review: Solipsistic Pop Issue 3

Published By: Solipsistic Pop Books

Edited and Designed by Tom Humberstone
Price: £12 UK

The Book: Book three of Solipsistic Pop contains 80 pages of comic art created to be accessible to readers of all ages. 30 exclusive stories from 26 of the best comic artists, illustrators and designers working in the UK today. Includes a free Solipsistic Pop pencil to create your own comic and an A3 poster with re-peelable stickers.

Featuring contributions from Kristyna Baczynski, Becky Barnicoat, Adam Cadwell, Warwick Johnson Cadwell, Francessca Cassavetti, Faz Choudhury, David O’Connell, Darryl Cunningham, Rob Davis, Joe Decie, John Cei Douglas, Marc Ellerby, Sarah Gordon, Anne Holiday, Tom Humberstone, Daniel Locke, Lizz Lunney, Mark Oliver, Luke Pearson, Octavia Raitt, Edward Ross, Philippa Rice, Anna Saunders, Julia Scheele, Tom Smith, and Andrew Waugh.

Limited to a print run of just 500 copies, downthetubes is honoured to have received an advance copy of this ace anthology. We'll admit it's not cheap - £12 an issue is steep - but the artwork and the title's quality definitely counts in its favour.

I think we should also bear in mind that a good quality originated hardback graphic novel of the same extent would probably set you back about £12 with retailer discount. On that basis, Solipsistic Pop, which this issue comes with a branded pencil, sticker set, and poster is actually pretty cheap. (Especially when you consider that some people are paying £3 (and over) for 22 pages of an American mainstream comic that has advertising and either Disney or Warner essentially bankrolling them as loss-leaders for movie franchises...)

Highlights? Definitely Darryl Cunningham's 'Stan' strips, Tom Smith's 'A Joke' (A man walks into a bar full of weird animals...) and Anna Saunders one page 'Kitty Control Centre' and Andrew Waugh's 'Teething Problems' (Robot wanting to explore the outside world), both of which made me laugh out loud and scare wildlife. But there's so much more to enjoy, and I feel a bit mean singling out particular strips when everything is so top notch ('The Magical Unicorns of Keith the Wizards' by Lizz Lunney is making me smile even now).

Solipsistic Pop features some of the very best of British indie comic creators at the top of their game, all clearly enjoying the stories they've created for this anthology (and yes, anthology rules apply, not every strip will appeal to all, but I'm confident you'll find more to appeal than less.

This is a real gem of a title – 80 pages of independently published, alternative, offest-printed, environmentally-sound, ad-free comics (mid-recession). What more do you need?

• Where to Get It:

Pre-order your copy today to avoid missing out!

• On Friday 12th November, the publishers will be celebrating the launch of Solipsistic Pop 3 with a party in Camden’s Black Heart (NW1 0AP). Entry is £3 and the doors open at 8.00pm.

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