Sunday, 22 June 2014

These are a few of my favourite things….. Milo the First Monkey in Space… by Graeme McNee.

I thought it best to make more of an effort with my blog so please tune in more often. The thing is I only use it to post short stories and don’t get much time to plot them all. So here goes with a more “book review,” set of posts where I write about some of my favourite reads. They will include the mainstream and the self-published, novels, short stories, fiction and nonfiction, comics, graphic novels, books my kids enjoy and well, anything really; no borders here; whatever I feel like (my blog my prerogative alright?!)

Some people inspire to create small press comics to resemble the mainstream, perhaps hoping one day to join them. Others seem to do things their own way and break all the rules. This is what makes the small press so diverse and exciting. This is particularly true in those comics labelled “mini-comics,” little art pieces that express something the mainstream could never hope to reproduce. Mini-comics are as they sound, small, no bigger than A6 but this is not their only appeal, many of them are handmade, often with tiny print runs and decoration individually added by hand. When you hold Marvel’s latest publication you have in your hand something that millions of others are also holding, but with a mini-comic you know it’s unique, it has heart and soul put into it and that makes it a treasure.
A great example is one I found reviewed in Comics International in 2002 called “Milo; the first monkey in space,” by Scottish born Graeme McNee. It is an A6 sized, mostly caption-less story about the plight and fear of a monkey that is sent to space.  The art is very much influenced by Japanese Woodblock prints, bulky and using large areas of black. This only adds to its innocent and simplistic charm. It came with an individual potato print of Milo on an inside folder and enclosed in a blue envelope. The envelope also contained a tiny badge, some cut out paper-dolls and stickers. It was all so incredibly cute which gave it even more effect to the rather upsetting and sad ending. Not enough with the aesthetic value of its appeal the creator also claimed that the profits would go to a chimpanzee rescue centre; who could ask for more.
It is one of those things you simply cannot dislike and it is stayed on my bookshelf for all these years, my daughter, loved it, took it to school to show her teacher and then she tried to pinch the badge! I wondered if anyone else had ever heard of it but I doubted I would be able to show you just what it was like until I googled it; hey presto, Graeme has uploaded a PDF version for its ten anniversary, with added colour and an introduction to his thought process while producing it. So, here is link, hope you enjoy!
For more information about the creator:
If you liked this idea of me babbling on about my favourite reads please let me know by commenting and liking as it will spur me onto to write more.

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