Thursday 21 August 2014

WOW! Let’s Celebrate; Comics, Graphic Novels and Magazines! Stoplight on The Phoenix

Comics are tricky, the choice offered by supermarkets is limited and unless you are lucky enough to have a local comic store with dedicated and enthusiastic staff, where do you start? Well we thought long and hard and decided to have a spot light on The Phoenix.

In earlier WOW features we have mentioned The Phoenix, and many of our interviewed professionals have raved about it too, and so here is our review. The Phoenix is the second comic brainchild of David Fickling, its forefather DFC (David Fickling Comic) closed due to company changes (all for the better as David Fickling is now an independent publishers) and soon afterwards The Phoenix rose, proud and loud.

The Phoenix is bursting with colour character and the passion of which it is created oozes out of each and every page. Each feature is well written with exquisite full colour artwork by talented and well know writers and illustrators. This comic does what comic should do, grab you with the cover and demand to be read, not play second fiddle to a plastic toy.

The stories inside the page are varied with something for everyone (not exclusively children) from the manic madness of Jamie’s 'Bunny Vs Monkey', which is my eight year old sons favourite to the Fantastical capers of 'Tales of Fayt' by Conrad Mason and David Wyatt, which is a kind of Dickenson adventure with mythical beasts which is a favourite of my ten year daughter. My favourite (and it’s another of my daughters favoured features) is 'Corpse Talk', which is a talk show with host Adam Murphy, only he doesn't have a fancy leather sofa but prefers to lean on the shovel that he’s uses to dig up a famous or infamous corpses to interview. It is a funny parody of talk shows, and is amusing and yet educational in a way that kids don’t know there learning something which is genius!

Each feature has a unique story and accompanying art work, from Bunny v’s Monkey’s highly stylised illustrations reminiscent of Powder Puff Girls to the art works that have a more Manga feel like 'Tamsin in the Deep' by Neil Cameron and Kate Brown. 

Each week there is a How To Draw section, where there is a step by step guide to drawing characters from the magazine. There is a Fan Fare section where you can send in your own art work for consideration to be included, plus there are completions, which are all based on Phoenix features and characters and the prizes are merchandise or books which are all Phoenix based. There is NO ADVERTISING and you are not paying to have the latest blockbuster promoted to you either, so there are no distractions from the quality sequential narrative storytelling.

Another plus about The Phoenix is that if you like a certain strip or feature they have a whole library of bind-up graphic novels, which will keep small people entertained for hours. 

Another Phoenix presentation is the recently published; ‘How to Make Awesome Comics by the Phoenix regular contributor Neil Cameron. The book is a hands on DIY guide to creating comics with exercises and activities. Here is a child perspective…

How to Make Awesome Comic  - Child Review by Bea aged 10

In How to Make Awesome Comic there is lots of AMSOME stuff and thing to do such as, guides to draw zombies, penguins, vampire and many more. It tells you how to make funny characters. My favourite guide is monkey. The author is always giving you ideas and tasks they have inspired me to make my own comic, Green Girl V’s Zombies!

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