Smoo # 3
By Simon M
The third issue of Smoo from Simon M and it’s everything that I was expecting, and full of everything I enjoyed from Smoo issue 2:
“…… not a comic for those wanting something fast paced and action packed, or indeed those wanting a story, since Smoo is a collection of short, introspective pieces by the artist where nothing much happens”
“And that’s about it. Nothing monumental, no plot to speak of, just ideas, moments, thoughts on paper. But the important thing is that they’re good thoughts, interesting thoughts, all contributing to the cumulative mood of the piece.”
It’s all here in issue 3, just as it was when I praised it in issue 2, the same relaxed, contemplative way he tells his meandering stories. And the same interesting flow of his artwork across the page. I love the openness of his pages, with so much white space allowing our eye to gently float across, similar to the manner in which he’s telling us his stories. It’s a reflective, calm and thoroughly enjoyable bit of comics work.
Issue 3 sees Simon M tell one story, across two parts – in the first he’s wandering through a vaguely urban environment, contemplating the overuse of mobile phones in modern times, and in the second he spends the entire piece on the phone to someone explaining some problems he had a while ago with threatening phone calls and how difficult it’s been to get over them. Simple things, just as I’ve come to expect, but handled so lightly and naturalistically.
In between the two parts is a beautiful little interlude five page piece about the time he moved back home after university. There’s practically nothing to it, merely a mood piece, but then that’s absolutely the point of it. It’s so gentle, thoughtful and simply relaxing to read, he’s accomplished a difficult trick in comics – he slows the reader’s eye down to the pace he wants it to be and in doing so allows the reader to take everything in, to join in, to experience the moment.
And in that interlude is a near perfect page to show you what I mean – in some ways this is possibly my favourite page in the comic:
And his art just gets better as well. There’s all of the invention I praised in issue 2, all of the little extras in the panel design and the page layouts, but it’s reigned in ever so slightly. Or rather, it’s slightly less noticeable since there’s more of a concerted effort here to concentrate on storytelling. And it’s effort well placed, since the reader’s eye flows beautifully across every page, taking it all in, gently guided but never forced.
Again, I’m really impressed with Smoo and hope to see a lot more of Simon M in the future. Smoo#3 is available from Simon M – get in touch through his website.