Five Days Out of Seven #2

Posted: Tuesday, September 19, 2006
By: Darren Schroeder

Cover of Five Days Out of Seven #2 Creator(s): Stephen Knowles
Publishers: (Self Published)
From: UK
Price: £3.50 (UK)

A real quandary for creative folks is the question of how to get yourself work in your field. Lots of folks know this and take advantage of people by offering free publicity, which usually means they have a publication the sell advertising in, and to make it readable want you to provide content for free. One publication in my home country even offered to use creator’s artwork as a prize. Good one! If this sort of thing eventuates in some paid work I guess it would be worth it, but how many times does that happen? It takes time, concentration, materials and skill to draw something, so pay the artist for their work or draw your own is my reply.

Stephen is the reason for the above rant as he includes a couple of autobiographical stories dealing with such arrangements in this heartfelt collection of short pieces. The ring of truth sounds in these stories; from a hilariously droll conversation overheard in an airport check in area to a cat visiting the vet. The fact I'd done the same sort of mercy mission myself recently raised a smile.

This sense of realism is quite a mystery in light of the heavily stylised artwork Stephen deploys, which uses lots of straight thin lines and minimal facial features. The characters somehow manage to convey a sense of being put-upon and usually lost for words. I'm taken with the way he achieves this with a minimum of detailing. The artwork has a quality of sharpness to it, as thought it is cut into the page with razorblades.

Apart from the sense this has all happened to Stephen there isn't real direction to the narratives, so plot junkies will have to look elsewhere. For myself, I found this a diverting read with graphics that mark it out from most of the material in my to read pile.

In a Word: Unforced.

If you have a comment or question about Small Press then feel free to contact me