A Nation of Shopkeepers

Posted: Tuesday, July 17, 2001
By: Darren Schroeder

Cover of A Nation of Shopkeepers Creator(s): John Baynall
Publishers: Beech Books- Clydeside Press.
From: Glasgow
Price: £1.50 (UK)

While the English might want to forget about that particular libel aimed at them by many, including Napoleon, John Bagnall seems to have decided to revel in this image with a collection of tableaus in which he presents a variety of shopkeepers going about their trade and the assorted customers that populate there premises.

If you want a plot then this might not be the best buy for you, though a case could be made that what we have here is a record of the places that John hangs around in his home town. We might decide that he happens to live in a quaint place where all the shops are small and overflowing with charm, character and quirky people. The personality of the shopkeepers permeates their shops, creating atmospheric locals that John loves to inhabit.

Then again, that might just be a flight of fancy and all that John is doing is having a bit of fun as well as producing a wonderfully goofy collection of illustrations, crammed fill of fascinating details that reward repeated viewing. This could be the first coffee table small press book; great to leave around for visitors to discover and enjoy while at the same time showing that being called a shopkeeper doesn't mean you are boring at all.

In a Word: Consuming.

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