Random Journeys #1

Posted: Tuesday, August 8, 2006
By: Darren Schroeder

Cover of Random Journeys #1 Creator(s): Rob Jackson
Publishers: Self Published
From: England
Price: £1 (UK)

So much of mainstream media lives to regurgitate the same old ideas, copying the current flavour of the month ad infinitum. How all the people involved can live with the junk they churn out is beyond me, especially when presented with the fresh creativity of a cartoonist such as Rob Jackson.

The stories here all have something new and fresh about them. The "startling discoveries" piece contrasts the triumphant lecture of the jungle explorer with the more mundane reality of the trip. Sure, he did go to some interesting places, but he revels in over-dramatising events and misreading the actions of others.

"Allotment memories" presents a series of strange tales from a few blokes sitting around in a shed amongst the communal gardens of some industrial English city. The tales they regale each other with are quirky but all strike one as realistic. The off-colour personalities of the participants all ring true. They care about the lifestyle of the allotments, the joy in growing your own food and enjoying a few moments away from the distractions of big city life.

Rob rounds the collection off with an amusing autobiographical piece about his first day at work in Korea as an English language tutor. Some very odd things happen to him over the course of the day, which Rob recounts with deadpan humour that highlights his dislocation from the local culture as he puts up with his bosses flawed efforts to welcome him.

The art style that Rob uses might be most diplomatically termed naive with scratchy line work, no attempt at anatomical correctness in regards to such details as hands, and very simple facial construction. The settings are simply drawn but do have a sense of detail that suggests they were drawn from life. The finished product serves the stories well with the simple expressions of the characters adding to the humour or horror of the situations they face. Rob puts care into the things that matter and lets the less important techniques slide.

This is a fun mix of fiction and real life observations that surprises and entertains. Originality triumphant.

In a Word: Experiences..

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