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Oliver East


Page 45 Review by Jonathan

"Right, let's go.
"I start the walk from the elevated platforms 13 & 14, safe in the assumption there's no prostitutes out at this hour so I can walk where I please.
"I try to keep the tracks to my left as it'll give me an excuse to draw some of my favourite buildings, such as the old fire station and U.M.I.S.T.
"Moving on, I vaguely chastise myself for being disappointed that there are no tramps under the arches between Sackville Street and Princess Street.
"It's a good thing no one's sleeping there.
"Good for them.
"They would have been nice to draw though.
"I feel shame's hand pulling me on."

More TRAINS ARE... MINT travelogue-cum-stream of consciousness adventuring from Oliver East as he meanders alongside the train tracks from Manchester to Liverpool. Whether he's analysing architecture, thinking about odd presents he received from his dad as a child, or mentally calculating the (unlikely) odds of being sexually molested on a particularly lonely footbridge, he's always sketching inside his mind. Capturing the landscape and the passer-by, and then punctuating the artwork with his very own unique brand of social commentary, often at the expense of the typically northern English characters he meets along the way. He's not trying to see the world, or seek out new civilisations, but instead he's just content to ably show us what beauty and bizarreness, urban and natural, there is all around us, rather nearer than we think if we just put on our shoes and start walking. As before the art is rendered from memory in inks and watercolour in his own delightfully abstract style. Detail isn't necessarily important, although there's plenty of it, but capturing the feel of a location and the mood of a moment of interaction is key. But what legacy will Oliver leave behind, as a human being and a graphic novelist? I'll leave the last word to Oliver...

"You tell some people you do comics and they give you a look.
"It's like you've just told them you've got AIDS, like, 'oh dear, well, we're here if you need us.'"
"Or you've just done a nasty hangover fart, like, 'oh really, did you have to?'"
"I'd be lying if I said it didn't matter what people thought.
"But when I die and they find a load of unsold books under my bed, and I'm recognised as the genius of the form I was...
"Then you'll see.

[Editor's note: some of this material was originally presented in TRAINS ARE.. MINT #5, Page 45's Comicbook Of The Month May 2008.]
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