FLEET FM RADIO AS PAPER ISSUE #2
Edited by Jerome Bihan
Featuring comics by: Cornelius Stone, Vincent Shield, Elliott Stewart, M+S Emery, Robyn E. Kenealy, Jerome Bihan, Tim Kidd, Frank & Becky, Thom Burton and M.F. Joyce.
As the future of slick print comics becomes more uncertain it's refreshing to see a local anthology printed on cheap folded A3 newsprint proving that as a disposable medium for exchanging artwork and ideas, print ain't dead just yet.
Equal parts comic and zine; Radio on Paper features a mix of short comic pieces (one or two pages for each cartoonist) and articles (interviews, comics appreciations and music talk from the FLEET crew). Like any good zine made especially to distribute amongst friends it's a fun print reunion for cartoonist's who's work hasn't been seen in print nearly enough recently.
In the case of Cornelius Stone it's the first work of his I've seen in sometime; while some new names to me were a welcome surprise (Vincent Shield's 'The Mysterious World of Arthur C Clarke' has a nice Eddie Campbell feel to it).
Other creator's featured here like Robyn E. Kenealy, Tim Kidd, and Frank & Becky are well represented online at their respective websites, but it's a pleasure to see there work back on newsprint where it really sings.
Tim Kidd's two page story 'Bernard Can't Sleep' is a real treat to behold (especially after rationing myself on each new single strip at his website!). Given room to breath here there's a lot to like; from the confident pacing to the playful word balloons. And the floating heads flashback on page two is masterful in it's simplicity.
The only criticism I can level at the book as a whole is it feels a little slapped together in places, like some on the articles were quickly re-typed to fit the format before finding it's way to the office photocopier. But that's kind of missing the point; the enthusiasm and sheer effort of Jerome and his contributors to put this out more than makes up for what it lacks in production value. Besides, not all comics are made to last forever. At an extremely affordable $2, Radio on Paper is perfect to pick up and see what your local cartoonists are up to. Read it, share it, love it, recycle it. It's only newsprint after all.