Grant Morrison's autobiographical Angry Young Man.
Writer: Grant Morrison
Artist and Letterer: Paul Grist
Published by Oni Press 1998
Reviewed by Marc Bryant
Say the name "Grant Morrison" to most comics fans
and what probably comes to mind are titles like JLA,
INVISIBLES, or DOOM PATROL. Quirky, dazzling, over-the-top
takes on the super-hero genre. But those titles are just one side
of the writer's voice. The other side of Morrison's work, books
like KILL YOUR BOYFRIEND, THE MYSTERY PLAY and ST.SWITHIN'S
DAY are more entrenched in 'reality', whatever that is, and
the internal struggles everyone faces at some time or other in
ST. SWITHIN'S DAY, excellently illustrated
by Paul Grist (KANE), is a perfect example of the wide
breadth of Morrison's storytelling vision, beyond multi-dimensional
disaster stories and magick laden conspiracy yarns.
goal itself is a mystery to the reader, drawing you inexorably
along for the ride"
Semi-autobiographical, ST. SWITHIN'S DAY
follows a boy to 1980s London, performing a very personal rite
of passage as he makes his way towards his goal. Like CATCHER
IN THE RYE, ST. SWITHIN'S DAY provides a fascinating look
into the mind of the archetypal "angry young man".
He buys books. He stands on bridges. He eats lunch.
It sounds tedious, but the economical 'voice-over' works well
with Paul Grist's lean, distinctive art style to make every single
scene interesting and engrossing. The boy's goal itself is a mystery
to the reader, drawing you inexorably along for the ride.
If you're not from the UK, there are elements
to the setting and culture that are probably unfamiliar, but none
of them are intrinsic to the plot and don't hinder the overall
enjoyment of the story.
With it's self-contained story and unique, thoughtful
subject matter, ST. SWITHIN'S DAY
is the kind of comic we need more of - particularly from popular
writers like Morrison, who have the power to "bring readers over"
from titles like JLA to more intimate, personal works like
Recommended (with reservations: don't come
here expecting another JLA or DOOM PATROL)
Marc Bryant is Features Editor
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