Slate 1 | 230 x 156 mm hardcover | 122 pages | Colour | ISBN 9781906653002 | £12.99
By Oliver East
Oliver East is one of the best known names in the vibrant British small press scene, with his Trains Are Mint series using an artist’s eye to spot out the many elements which make up the everyday world around us but which we often simply tune out and don’t notice, spotted as he travels around Manchester, all detailed with some lovely artwork. This is his first large collection of his work.
“Oliver East has produced one of the most unique works to come out of the UK small press scene and one that I believe has a chance of crossing over to a much wider audience. His comic forgoes word balloons and the text and speech is all written in Oliver’s own longhand superimposed upon the images. Essentially this is a diary of walks along the train tracks between Manchester and Blackpool in the northwest of England.
The story is told in deceptively simple watercolours that many will see as childlike (somewhat like the work of a young John Porcellino) although in fact they convey not only the narrative but also the spontaneity of sketches – which seems highly appropriate to a diary. It also serves as eyewitness to what modern Britain is like behind the tourist posters, showing the everyday lives of small towns and people, and the often deep drabness at their center, it reminds me in feel of the films of Shane Meadows.”
- Kenny Penman, director Forbidden Planet International and publisher of Blank Slate Books.
“Oliver East walks. When he’s done, he draws. In Trains Are…Mint, he walks and draws Manchester to Blackpool along the train tracks. It all seems terribly English and quite refreshing. East contributes walking not as a rural idyll, but a meditation on the other side of the tracks. He focuses on train stations and apartment blocks, trash-strewn alleys and scrawled graffiti. The results are oblique and intoxicating.”
- Bill Randall, The Comics Journal #294
“On the Road becomes On the Track as Oliver tramps, traipses, strolls and slogs from station to station… A unique use of comics, almost a time capsule of the unrecorded, everyday provinces.”
- Paul Gravett, organiser of the ICA Comics festival and author of numerous books including Great British Comics
“[…] a compelling and determinedly uncinematic piece of experimental sequential art.”
- Roger Sabin for The Guardian
Published May 2008.