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Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Browner-Knowle 8 (or BK8 for d'yoot)

Paul Ashley Brown
A5 (Digest)
Black and White

Firstly, no, I have no idea how you can get a copy other than to look out for Mr Brown at some effete Small Press event. Review after review I say "People need to know how to order" but does it sink in?  No. And I give up.  But it does mean -this will irritate him- that if you are looking for investment comics you need to latch on to Browner Knowle -not widely available and with limited print runs.

Before I do my bit, for what it's worth, I thought I'd look around and see what others had written -if any had- about BK 8.

Well, I found one review posted by Peter Stanbury

"Once again, Paul Ashley Brown serves up a motley crew of characters passing through the melancholy landscape of a lost and lonely England.

From shopaholic old ladies reeling round supermarkets, to doped-up sofa wastrels off their faces and out of their minds; half-glimpsed street nutters and lonely female librarians, war veterans and street photographers, all are revealed in words and images that are by turns cruel, funny, perverse, sad, tragic, compassionate, violent and contemplative.

Expect melancholic musings of love, loss, and what it means to be (barely) alive. With added excessive offensive language, and scenes of a (peculiar) sexual nature, this is sure to affirm Brown’s position of being the most anonymous outsider out there. With justifiable cause!"

The link will take you to links for a couple other PAB books.

Paul Ashley Brown exhibiting himself in Finland

Having seen all the Browner Knowles one thing struck me straight away -colour cover.  And a very nice colour cover to boot.  There is also another nice illo on the back cover but you need to buy the book to see that!

The other thing I noted is quality of the paper and printing.  No one really cares what I think, I know, but after seeing thousands of publications in 40+ years these things jab my brain.  The thickness and sturdiness of the paper are good.  These pages are not going to tear or crease unless you want to do that. The printing is quite luscious. No faded or not-quite black printing.  This is very good quality printing and so the negatives (black -ink/white -paper) are excellently balanced.  This is also a Perfect Bound book and I can tell you the spine is tough as concrete.  I know this because while I was on the floor (you don't need to know why) BK8 fell of a shelf and almost concussed me: that is one tough spine.

Quality wise, I have to say that this is the best issue to date.  So then we have to contents.

My two favourite pages -well, double spread- are the character looking out of the window at the night bus as it passes.  Vivian and Satellites of Love are two other favourites. Missus Necessary  might look like it is going to be just a humour strip but there's more to it.  In fact, BK8 was not as suicide inspirational as you might think from the usual Mr Brown fair.

Very enjoyable but I still have to ask why, with all the far, far lesser talents picked up by publishers to produce graphic novels, no one has approached Paul Ashley Brown?  That shows the poor state of comics or, as the arty farty set prefer to call it, the "graphic illustratrion scene"

If you can find a copy buy a copy!

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