Bloc will probably be well noticed around festivals while stocks last.
Smith and Lambden both raise their game for this 52-page wordless piece which has all the characteristics of a European master such as a protege of Jean Giraud Moebius. Yes, those guys.
Smith, as a comics storyteller, has dwelled on delicate poetical musings of the teenager, with a young adult's cynicism. With Bloc, a piece written several years ago, we get all that but much more. It pre-empts in characteristic his status as a recent physics graduate and author on Dr. Who with a nameless figure wandering and pondering the landscape, sharing a seemingly psychic or physical field relationship with a cumulus of floating bricks. Internal ponderings wrapped within a narrative of dynamic things happening Play, exploration, philosophy all rise in a narrative that reminds me of Grant Morrisson's silent issue of X-Men. Perhaps its better. Theres a sense of genuine wonder that is massively genuinely endearing, and theres also some horrible, horrible shock. Not bad for a visual instruction only script.
Oliver Lambden too has his roots in semi-autobiography, although perhaps more leaning to stock superhero monomyth. What he does with Bloc is every bit as inspiring as Kirby or Simonson at Marvel, grand epic like Chris Webster, proportion and European influence. For the artist, theres a definite coming-of-age of the craftsman, of the artist who cares. Structure, symmetry, density, a fixed concentration devoted to the moment, his pokerfaced pen resonating Its almost tangible. Every accolade that I heaped upon Smith above is Lambden's in kind. I do believe hes showing off! I'd be willing to get a coffee table to place this book on it. Theres probably nothing quite like it, and its one of the best UK comics this year. Buy it!
I already insisted a girl on the bus looked over my arm while reading this. Buy this!