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Check Out / Listen to Adam Higton’s Cosmic Neighbourhood

Published On March 13, 2014 | By Martin Steenton | Comics, Previews, Webcomics

Cosmic Neighbourhood is a fantasy comic by Bristol-based illustrator and musician Adam Higton. It begins, as great stories might, with a yeti being led through a forest by an ancient talking candle. It’s drawn in an an arresting glyphic style gives (me at least) the impression of reading a mythic tapestry. It’s only 8 pages in at the moment, but I can’t wait to see more.

Higton describes it as “predominantly a comic, focusing around two main characters, Wizzo and his friend Tomte”. “Predominantly” being the key word here as what makes Cosmic Neighbourhood even more interesting is that Higton is currently adding supplementary audio work underneath each page via Soundcloud embed, combining narration and music as so:

Drawing a line under his previous cast of characters as Yule Bringer, Cosmic Neighbourhood represents a new beginning for Higton, who is purposefully moving away from his previous dialogue-free approach in a big way by including not just speech bubbles but these aural supplements. Higton is a fascinating guy, and luckily, a kind one as he swiftly answered my questions about what attracts him to combining his comics with music:

“I love music, I listen to music at home all the time, always when I am working, and I enjoy creating my own music, which I have been doing for a few years now on and off, however  I can’t write great songs in a conventional sense and I am an awful singer!   I won’t let that put me down though!

 

One of my favourite artists is Bo Hansson, his instrumental music has always had a strong visual appeal to me, and I have always been interested in the BBC Radiophonic Workshop and two records by Radiophonic members in particular!.. Peter Howell’s ‘Alice Through The Looking Glass‘ LP got me interested in combining spoken word narrative with trippy music, as well as David Cain’s ‘Seasons,’ which I would say was slightly more poetic and visually darker, but both equally as strange as each other!

 

So I thought I would give it a go and record short segments of me reading from the comic, and then adding my own sound effects and playing music over the top… it is hard to see how it will turn out, but so far so good I think! one page of the comic is  a scene where Tomte the elf walks through Wizzo’s cosmic garden, I am in the stages of rehearsing this for a live performance at the Pick Me Up Graphic Arts Fair at Somerset House on Sunday 27th April.  I am making mushroom hats and myself and two friends will play a 30 minute soundtrack to that page.”

Somewhere out there, there are a couple of pent-up doctrinaires debating the question of “when is a comic not a comic?”. I’ll let them agonise and while I look forward to reading and listening to more Cosmic Neighbourhood. Be sure to check out Higton’s great Tumblr, the great patches he’s currently got for sale as well his recent cover for (always fun kids’ mag) Anorak’s Myths and Tales issue.

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About The Author

Martin Steenton
Martin Steenton is Forbidden Planet International's Social Media Co-ordinator. In comics since 2009, he's worked on a variety of projects with publishers such as Blank Slate, Koyama Press, and Nobrow. Follow him on Twitter here.

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