Comics travelogues are a beast rarely sighted. Indeed Eddie Campbell once declared them impossible, although he subsequently recanted to very difficult. With the boldness of inexperience then, comes Rob Jackson's debut comic recounting his thirty-three hour train journey to, and arrival in, Shanghai. That inexperience shoes in places. He highlights incidents along the way, but the pacing doesn't really put across just how long the journey really was. His artwork is generally quite static too, none of the people look very animated. What he does put across strongly is the sense of dislocation, of just how foreign China is, and the landscapes and cityscapes are really very good.
Conventional travelogues generally end with the author safe at home, musing on his adventures of a glass of something or other. Rob chooses to leave us on something of a cliffhanger. He's alone in a cheap hotel in a strange city, with only limited command of Chinese, but excited by the possibilities and in awe of the strangeness around him. Obviously he did come back in the end, but I'm betting there's another good comic or two in the space between then and now.
A5, 24pp, £1.20 + SAE from Rob Jackson, 18 Harpers Lane, Bolton, BL1 6HR. Email email@example.com.