Swedish publishers Peow! Studio continue to reinforce their reputation as the purveyors of some of the most exciting comics around. Each release is not only immaculately, beautifully presented, but their approach in cherry-picking fine, fresh and talented artists to collaborate with is what sets their comics apart. Earlier in the year, they announced they'd be working with cartoonist and illustrator Natalie Andrewson and I'm very pleased to be able to share an exclusive 9-page preview of that book, Lemon & Ket, below. Here's a synopsis of Lemon & Ket, as penned by Andrewson herself: 'Ket likes to defend her village and beating up big, tough guys is no big deal but when an intruding tyrant beats her to a pulp she has to rethink everything. She decides to train remotely before she begins her quest for vengeance until a mysterious old lady reveals to her who the intruder’s working for. Ket is hunted, she falls out of trees, she devours gigantic fruit, she rips trees from their roots and steals the secrets behind a looming power. If you like action thrillers and lemonade this book is for you!'
I think these pages do an excellent job of illustrating what it is I love about Andrewson's work- in addition to it being attractive to look at, it has a lovely, easy flow- a speedy, sketchy dynamism that provides personality and appeal. That orange and blue is working nicely, too. I know last year at Thought Bubble, Peow! were considering perhaps exhibiting at less festivals in 2015, and focusing on creating and publishing work, but they were at MOCCA earlier in the month -where Lemon & Ket had its official debut-, and will be tabling at ELCAF in June also; so it seems like they've managed to do both- with new books from Jane Mai and Disa Wallander expected soon. I think selecting a few international events to attend will work well for them- people really began to become more aware of, and talk about their books in the past 12 months, so having a tangible presence will no doubt help that visibility.
It's been a strange, downbeat year for comics -not a lot of work has really struck me with that immediate intensity of quality and sheer goodness- but as sycophantic as it may sound, the work that's made me glad to have kept my hand in and reminded me why I love and enjoy the medium has come from artists and publishers like Peow! doing their individual thing: Kris Mukai, Bailey Sharp, Wren McDonald, Michael DeForge, and others. Support the good.