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Thursday, 3 January 2013

I Don't Like My Hair Neat

Continuing the Thought Bubble theme, next up is Julia Scheele's I Don't Like My Hair Neat.

Art: Julia Scheele
Writer: Katie West and Chrissie Williams:
Self published

What's it about?
I Don't Like My Hair Neat is a collection of stories. The first (and main) one is Positive - an 18 page story about a woman fearing she might be pregnant.  How did it happen? Who is the father? What will the kid look like?
Then there's a page showing A Short History of Touches:
Re-reading it today, I think I may have ignored the last panel, as it is not so much moving (as I wrote on Pai) but terrifying.

Other one pagers deal with dysmorphia, burning out, and anxiousness.   There's quite an undercurrent of dread in this comic although there are less emotionally fraught pages of straight-up illustration too (see the teenage rebel Robin picture below). 

What's good about it?
This comic is clearly Julia's baby.  It's her art that runs through it, and when she works with West and Williams on prose her art really brings the story to life.  The poem that Chrissy West provides is simple and, to my mind, fairly straightforward (although I'd be the first to say I don't really get poetry).  Scheele brings the story and the meaning to life.  It becomes powerful even to this ignoramus.

For Positive, a more complex story is told.  Colours change with moods and the words and art meld perfectly.


On a more physical and less visual note, the paper this has been printed on is gorgeous! 

What's bad about it?
One of the pages, Things In My Bag, is more filler than story.  It's an interesting insight into Scheele's life, but I would have preferred more fictional stuff.  Although it's weak, it is certainly not enough to mar the rest of the comic.

What's the art like?
Julia's strength is in her colours and versatility.  The art for Positive and Diem are by far the best in the comics.  They are incredibly vibrant and full of life.  Mesmerising even!

The rest of her work is not quite so colourful, but is equally powerful.
From Things That Make Me Anxious:


To Burntout:

To Dysmorphia:


This last one is particularly interesting to me as I had not previously thought of body dysmorphia as being so out of sync with a person's actual body.  This way of expressing it is superb. 

More information
Price: £5 plus post and packing.  Buy it here.
A lot of I Don't Like My Hair Neat is available on Julia's website, along with a lot of other comics (mostly one pagers) and illustration.  She is on twitter at @juliascheele.
This is for mature readers only.
Julia is involved with  The Peckham House for Invalids, reviewed on this site in 2012.


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