Page 45 Review by Stephen
Signed and squiggled-in for free!
Dan Berry teaches creating comics for a living, and there is so much to his craft that others would do well to emulate, especially the comedians. I see way too many panels which are lifeless and static, whereas Dan's are gleeful, bursting with movement and energy especially during the height of self-mockery.
'I Am So Beloved By Everybody' is a masterclass. Both fluid and fluent, the tongue-in-cheek self-celebration leaps nimbly from one absurd accomplishment to the next as Dan the Man prances and dances like a peripatetic primate. See him kicking his legs up and gesticulating wildly on the conquered corpse of a poor old horse his competitive jousting has skewered! It shouldn't be funny, but it is, both his and his opponent's lances sticking out of one of two nags he's managed to knock down in one. Many lesser cartoonists would have simply listed the accomplishments, but this is a sequence of segues.
The same bright colours and lithe style are employed in the titular daydream of treetop liberation before Dan the Real Man drops falls to earth with a thud.
Markedly different, however, is 'The Devil's Steps' which I have a funny feeling I'm familiar with. Here the evening colours are deep and rich and tasty greens which I would never have thought of employing, complemented beautifully by the blood-clot brown of a bovine devil who really hasn't thought his location through. How can such dark colours glow?
Sign up to one of Dan's courses: you will learn stuff. http://www.nwsad.co.uk/illustration/, since you ask.
From the creator of CAT ISLAND, HEY YOU! which we made Page 45 Comicbook Of The Month and THE SUITCASE which we also declared Page 45 Comicbook Of The Month and is so mighty fine that it really should have been up for a British Comics Award.