Monday, November 10, 2008

Zine Swap- Ben Hutchings

This swap actually took place during the TINA zine fair, and I have read the zine (and showed it off to my friends) many times since.

It's been years since I had a comic in my hands. Probably the last one I bought was "Johnny the Homicidal Maniac" by Jhonen Vasquez. If you don't recognise the name, try Invader Zim. Not that his work is anything like Lesson Master, but um... yeah.. I'm a flake today.

Anyway, the cover of "Lesson Master: Master of Lessons" caught my eye as I was trawling the stalls at the zine fair. It's full colour, with an image of a wrinkled balding school teacherey type person, surrounded by lightning and little grey versions of the same dude. I asked the stall holder (whom shall be hereafter referred to as Ben) if he did trades, he did, we did, and I had some lessons to learn.

When I got home, I arranged all the zines I had swapped/bought in piles of "read NOW", "read tomorrow" and "read soon" based on the front covers alone.... HEY I'm an artist, I'm allowed to judge on appearences. Lesson Master was on the top of the pile.

This comic zine made me laugh out loud, something I do often, but not usually while reading. I'm trying to find a way to describe who the Lesson Master is, but all that comes to mind is "Social Niceties Enforcement Officer". It seems that he has some sort of inbuild detector that goes off when people don't follow the generally agreed upon rules of society. He then swoops in, sets them straight, then stamps a massive "Lesson Learned" on them and takes off. As someone bought up with manners, and witness to the rudeness of... pretty much everyone, the concept held a serious amount of appeal.

I was half in love with the comic already, when I came across a strip that deals with book signing. An author called Reg Wobbles is signing copies of "The Poo Conspiracy", I won't spoil it for you, but I do want to tell you that the panel in which the Lesson Master bursts through the wall leaving a Lesson Master-shaped hole in it is where I really started laughing properly ;)

Ben's style of drawing is incredible, besides being very funny. Some of the panels are so detailed, stipples, cross hatched, it makes my technique loving mind go all warm and fuzzy.

So thankyou Ben, for re-introducing me to comics. Wishing the Lesson Master could be deployed in Newcastle, we need him.

Check out Lesson Master here:

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