Can I draw your attention to the work of comic writer and artist team Daniel Clifford and Lee Robinson, collectively known as Art Heroes. These guys have set up a business to self publish all ages comics and organise and run comic art workshops to aid young people’s literacy development. This is something very dear to my heart and having held workshops myself, I know how worth while this work can be.
It’s fantastic to see new creators from the UK small press community opting to produce all ages comics. Comics need new readers and more younger readers!
Let’s have a look at Art Heroes’ first comic title, Halcyon & Tenderfoot. I ordered the comic from the AH website and was pleasantly surprised to see the guys had bundled in a black and white introductory Halcyon & Tenderfoot mini comic as well as the 1st issue. What also struck me immediately was the Pixar influence on the artwork. It’s obviously deliberate and I think this is an inspired move, Pixar’s ‘The Incredibles’ depicted the genre of Superheroes wonderfully, and Lee Robinson has emulated the style very well. The writing is also very good. The plot and pacing is well thought out and clear and the characters personalities come across well. Nice to see a really interesting and original rogues gallery lurking in the background ready to cause some mayhem in future issues. For an all ages comic I think Daniel and Lee have pitched this almost perfectly.
The lead characters are likeable and you can see their is some depth to them and that Daniel is a writer who is able to draw the reader in not only with action but with a strong narrative and on emotional level too. As Halcyon & Tenderfoot continues I’m sure the story could become a satisfying must read!
I have a few minor criticisms and I only mention them to spur the guys on. Firstly, if Halcyon and Tenderfoot is to attract younger readers I would suggest full colour art through out. The interior art is black and white ( in my experience kids expect colour ). I totally understand the implications of producing a full colour comic both in terms of time and cost, and I’m sure it would probably be preferable to the creators too. If the company do well we may see a move into colour soon. Another thing, the art at times can be a little too sketchy in places, but I will add that Lee’s loose line work captures the action and movement of the heroes brilliantly.
I do urge you to check out Halcyon & Tenderfoot and support the work of Art Heroes. Good comics need your support and this is a good comic and a great start by Art Heroes.
Visit: artheroes.co.uk artwork © Art Heroes.