I mostly buy children’s picture books, but this month has been a bit different, I have bought a comic, a graphic novel and a vegan cookbook.
First up is a comic called “I’m on a Boat” by Dan Berry. I’m a big fan of Dan’s podcast Make It Then Tell Everybody (even though I’m really behind), and while I’ve become used to listening to him talk about comics, I only ever see his work on instagram, so when he started self-producing a comic telling the story of his time spent teaching on a boat, I jumped at the chance to purchase it. I think one of the joys of Dan’s work is how he captures small, but humorous, human moments, such as the reaction of people when they see him drawing in public. His line work looks so natural and relaxed, it seems effortless, he can create expression and movement, and tell a story with the simplest of lines, it is brilliant craftmanship .
Above, is one of my favourite images (I hope Dan doesn’t mind me sharing it), where Dan is signed-off from work. Even though it must have been a worrying and serious time for him, he portrays it in such a warm and funny way, it really makes me smile, (I’m sure many of us can relate to nervously waiting for the blood pressure monitor to produce a reading) – it was a great way for a single image to communicate his health troubles.
At the time of writing this post, Dan was producing these comics in-house priced at £10, if you are interested you can buy one here.
Next we have “This Was Our Pact” by Ryan Andrews. I follow Ryan on Instagram, so I was able to follow the illustrations he produced for this graphic novel as he was working on them. His images are so detailed and beautiful (I love the textures in his pencil work), and seeing them shared over a period of time really made me feel connected to the characters and the story, it also really made you appreciate how much work goes into graphic novels. This is a A5 paperback graphic novel (when I looked there were a few hardbacks available too), but it is pretty chunky, I was pleasantly surprised by the size of it when it arrived, unfortunately I haven’t read it yet so I can’t give it a proper review, but I can’t wait to start it, it looks absolutely beautiful. If you are interested in buying a copy, it is published by First Second Books, and you can find it on Amazon UK here.
Finally, I purchased a copy of “Cook Share Eat Vegan: Delicious plant-based recipes for Everyone” by Áine Carlin, published by Mitchell Beazley. The book has been out for a while in hardback and the paperback is due out in October 2019 – and I’m really looking forward to making something from it (I really enjoyed Áine’s previous two books) , I’m particularly interested in the “Crispy Cinnamon Potato Tacos” (although I need to wait until I have a working oven to try that one) and the “Chip-Shop Vegetable Curry”. Technically I’m not vegan, but I prefer to eat vegan if I can. I find the assumption that most people make, is that vegan food is boring, because vegetables are usually an afterthought plonked on the side of a plate, but if anything, I’ve found cooking far more exciting since I’ve dropped the meat and the dairy. One thing that stands out in this book is the variety of ingredients and flavours, and I don’t mean that it is full of exotic things you have never heard of, I mean that humble vegetables and grains that you find in any supermarket have been given a bit of love and consideration, and have been elevated to the tastiest sounding dishes. If anyone is interested in who Áine is and the food she makes, you might want to check out her old YouTube channel, the video linked is from three years ago, but I’ve made this quesadilla several times, and it is a really quick and tasty lunch. If you are interested in purchasing “Cook Share Eat Vegan” you can find it here.
All books were purchased with my own money, all opinions are my own.