By Jenny Robins (Myriad Editions)
ISBN: 978-1-91240-82-90 (TPB)
Win’s Christmas Gift Recommendation: Utterly Captivating Human-Scaled Enticement… 10/10
There’s a 1944 Powell & Pressburger film called A Canterbury Tale, where a group of disparate but loosely associated characters weave in and out of each other’s klives for a defined period, gradually proceeding towards a shared denouement. It’s about far more than that and is really good. You should see it.
Biscuits Assorted is a bit like that, but also completely different. You should read it. It’s really, Really good.
Artist, teacher, Small Press artisan and author Jenny Robins is clearly a keen observer and gifted raconteur deftly attuned to nuance and ambiance and quite possibly hopelessly in love with London. Her award-winning debut graphic novel is a paean to modern living in the city, recounted through overlapping snapshots of many women’s lives in the months of June, July and August of a recent year (and don’t worry about which one).
If you need the metaphor explained, there are different varieties and, occasionally, they don’t do what it says on the tin…
Seriously though, here in captivating monochrome linework are a plethora of distinct and well-round individuals of differing ages and backgrounds working, playing, living, dying, risking, winning, failing and constantly interacting with each other to a greater or lesser extent, all united by place, circles of friends, shared acquaintances and enjoying – for once – full access to their own unexpurgated voices.
Strangers or intimates, life-long or Mayfly-momentary, this addictively engaging collection of incidents and characters all share locations and similar pressures as they go about their lives, but the way in which they all impact upon each other is truly mesmerising. I’m a bluff old British codger and I’ve met these very women and girls all my life, except for those who are completely new to my white male privileged experience. Now, however, I know what they’re like and what they’ve been thinking all this time…
And it’s outrageously funny and terrifying elucidating, rude in all the right ways and places and able to break your heart and jangle the nerves with a turn of a page.
Biscuits Assorted is a brilliant and revelatory picaresque voyage that is impossible to put down and certain to become a classic of graphic literature. It’s also the most fun you can have with your brain fully engaged.
Yesterday we published our Top Ten of 2020. Be sure to add this to the list. We did.
© Jenny Robins 2020. All rights reserved.