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ST. SWITHIN'S DAY
Grant Morrison's autobiographical Angry Young Man.

Writer: Grant Morrison
Artist and Letterer: Paul Grist
Single issue
Published by Oni Press 1998
$2.95

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 their lives.

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.
"The boy's 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 these.

Recommended (with reservations: don't come here expecting another JLA or DOOM PATROL)


Marc Bryant is Features Editor of PopImage.

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