Scar Tissue Vol 1

Posted: Wednesday, June 14, 2006
By: Steve Saville

Cover of Scar Tissue Vol 1 Creator(s): Andrew Richmond and Shane Chebsey (eds)
Publishers: Scar Comics (Self Published)
From: UK
Price: £2(UK)

Scar Tissue is an eclectic compilation of the, mainly, up and coming talent currently starting to blossom in the British small press scene.

It contains a series of short comics along with interviews and reviews.
Things get off to a pretty impressive start with the opening comic Danny Gets Angry, written and drawn by Max McGregor. It would be easy to dismiss this violent slice of life tale as nothing more than a glimpse into the life of a couple of street thugs but it deserves more consideration than this.

Yes it is violent in both language and action and yes, both do seem senseless and that is exactly why it is so powerful. It really does let us into the amoral world of those young men who participate in random acts of [normally alcohol fuelled] extreme violence. The lack of guilt or remorse shown by the narrator really does help to explain how an individual can justify their actions, they simply don’t believe they have to because they don’t believe they have done anything wrong.
It is a disturbing read and the liberal use of black to fill in any empty space adds to the bleakness and hopelessness of the narrative.
As an opener it certainly grabs the reader’s attention.

But as I said this is an eclectic collection and so this serious opening comic is in stark contrast to some of the following offerings on display here. A good example of Scar Tissue's lighter side is Jess Bradley’s Life as Zombie Dog, a delightfully drawn humerous one- pager that is slightly let down by a final panel that lacks punch but remains a smile inducing read.

The visual highpoint of Scar Tissue would have to be the detailed shading used in The Festival a faithful adaptation of H.P Lovecroft's tale of terror. Grant Margetts has, through skilful writing and careful frame/page design, retained all of the tension and suspense of the original. This is an excellent example of how effective comics can be when words and pictures work towards perfect complementation.

The inclusion of interviews and reviews means that this volume feels that it is aimed more at those involved in the small press scene as opposed to the wider public. It ends up treading a line between newsletter and comic, there is of course nothing wrong with this providing that is the editor's intention.

Irrespective, it remains a valuable insight into what is bubbling on or just below the surface in the British scene right now and if what is presented here is anything to go by things could be about to boil over.

In a Word: Oscillating.

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