By Jed Alexander (Alternative Comics)
Win’s Christmas Gift Recommendation: A Perfect Package of Pictorial Participation… 9/10
Although most comics narrative is a wedding of words and pictures, at the core of all graphic communication is a desire to share what the creator sees. Some of the best sequential narrative comes when the drawing does the talking, and that’s especially true when someone as gifted as Jed Alexander is steering the story.
He was raised in small town Pennsylvania – that’s a state of mind, not a city – and studied illustration at San Jose State University, where he benefited from the sage advice of elder savants of the art form such as John Clapp (The Stone Fey, The Prince of Butterflies, On Christmas Eve) and Barron Storey (The Sandman: Endless Nights, The Marat/Sade Journals, Tales From the Edge).
Alexander paid his dues with a decade as a jobbing craftsman in editorial illustration for such periodicals as LA Weekly, The Sacramento News and Review and The Santa Cruz Metro before escaping back to his real love: kid’s books. He has blossomed out into animation with work for Nickelodeon and illustration for Cricket Magazine and other like minded venues.
Funded through a Kickstarter campaign (Mostly) Wordless is his first book: a slim sleek and subtly colourful hardcover compilation of eight delightful vignettes generally eschewing verbiage to tell simple experiential tales of kids for kids.
It begins with a wagon ride into fantasy as ‘Ella and the Pirates’ shifts playing children from here and now to the High Seas in search of treasure and adventure whilst ‘Midnight Snack’ verbally sets the scene for a nocturnal romp of surreal and ‘Rainy Day’ traces the sodden voyages of a boy – or girl – and his dog as the skies open…
‘The Dancer’ is a joyous celebration of the early days of terpsichorean self-expression and ‘Girl Meets Ball’ celebrates freedom and determination at their most expressive.
There’s witchy giggles in store following ‘Transformation’ after which a little hipster shows us how to be a ‘Beatnik’ and ‘Jack Be Nimble’ continues the athleticism with a very sporty rodent demonstrating the callisthenic logistics of the famous old rhyme…
Wrapping up with heartfelt ‘Acknowledgements’ to all concerned – from models to financial contributors – this supremely enticing book is a charming and beautiful package to draw kids into reading comics and one every family needs on the bookshelf.
© 2013 Jed Alexander. All rights reserved.