Thought Bubble was a mad rush this year, but luckily I had back-up, with Jared (my boss at OK Comics) picking up lots of comics for the store, which I then proceeded to nick off him. One of these was Joshua Shepherd’s No 1 Hitman, a tiny, warmth-inducing treasure. I have to admit I’m not entirely sold on coloured pencil comics -Brian Fukushima does some nice ones- but overall they feel a bit ineffectual, and I absolutely abhor the ones where you can barely make out the art or lettering. The line between deliberate naivete and messiness is often easily crossed. I enjoy being won around though, and No I Hitman, and Shepherd’s work has helped me forwards towards that.
Hitman works much better in print, the tangible smallness of it, the physicality is part of its appeal and aesthetic. A rotund little dude taps away on his computer, busily blogging away, of which consequences lead to a Rambo-samurai Hitman landing in his backyard and challenging him to a duel. I like the punchiness of the pace, the beats between the sparse dialogue, and the clarity and spacial layout of the drawings and panels. It works better also for not being drowned in backgrounds and colours; the manner in which the framing of images in border-less panels, boxed ones, or mini splash pages with one focal point, have been thought out is great. The whole things is beautifully executed, simple but totally effective, and I was completely charmed by it.
You can read the whole of No 1 Hitman for free, here, or if you want a physical copy, I have a couple to give away, just send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org (worldwide postage).
Zainab of Comics and Cola wrote a small thing about No. 1 Hitman and has a couple of copies to give away if anyone is interested!
A couple of the sketch cards for Thought Bubble.
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And I’m gone gone gone.
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Happy New Year.
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Gunther Von Häagen-Dazs
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I’ll also have a couple of copies of my none-auto-bio auto-bio comic Horrosh and a handful of copies of a tiny throw away dream comic I did that keeps showing up in my room. Come say hey or something.
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I decided to scan a bunch of things from my sketchbooks and compile them into a PDF in case anyone is into snooping through sketchbooks.
The drawings start from mid 2011 and go up until now and it’s mostly fan art and abandoned comic ideas in between self portraits.