Tag Archives: zoe thorogood

Comics Deserve Better Episode 11: Interview with Zoe Thorogood (The Impending Blindness of Billie Scott)

After a short hiatus, Comics Deserve Better is back and ready to cover your favorite indie comics! In this episode, Brian and Logan interview talented writer/artist Zoe Thorogood about her debut graphic novel, The Impending Blindness of Billie Scott. They chat about everything from color palettes and character designs to the power of art to inspire and even video games! Later, Darci joins the fun to talk about the indie comics Bang!, The Citric Arc, Getting It Together, We Live, Stillwater, and The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys: National Anthem.

(Episode art by Zoe Thorogood.)

Early Review: The Impending Blindness of Billie Scott

The Impending Blindness of Billie Scott

The Impending Blindness of Billie Scott is a coronation for writer/artist Zoe Thorogood as one of the great cartoonists of this decade. The comic chronicles the life of Billie Scott, who has been contracted by an art gallery to make ten paintings for an exhibition. However, an altercation that detaches her retina, throws a spanner in the works, and she learns that she is going to go blind in a couple weeks. This diagnosis acts as a kind of wake-up call as she actually interacts with her flatmates and hits the road to London meeting a dynamic cast of characters along the way while also making wonderful art that truly captures the human condition.

This memorable cast of characters also provides Thorogood with an opportunity to create a kind of art within the art as she draws the sketches of the subjects that lead to Billie’s paintings. This comic shows that she is fascinated by people and their inner workings, and Billie Scott has a sense of hope and wonder despite its protagonist’s loss of sight. Along with Billie, Thorogood populates her comic with a wonderful cast of characters from folk punk artist Rachel (who keeps getting thrown out of bars) and bride-to-be Sara to Falklands war veteran Arthur and mysterious “cool girl” Iris. Billie builds relationships with them that directly influences her art.

To lead off, Billie Scott has the most authentic portrayal of the lonely and isolating nature of the creative act in almost any work of art sans the early lyrics of Morrissey. Zoe Thorogood plays with expectations and opens the comic on a group of flatmates who one might think might be the ensemble cast that surrounds the then-unseen Billie Scott. But, apparently, they’ve never met or spoken to her. Then, cut to utter isolation and the gorgeous dark pinks that Thorogood punctuates the comic with. Throughout the early part of The Impending Blindness of Billie Scott, she portrays her protagonist as being wholly focused on her art at the detriment of having a social life, support system, or proper sleep schedule. Billie unpacks this feeling later on in conversations with folks at the shelter and trash dump that she crashes at in London as she comes to terms with her earlier isolation and the new community that she’s found by the end of the comic.

Zoe Thorogood’s loose line work, Ben Day dots, and varying panel structures keeps Billie Scott fresh and comforting except in its several tense sequences like Billie trying to figure out what to do with herself when she books a train ticket to an unknown destination after learning she will go blind. Billie uses this train trip to try on some new personalities even though she ends up mostly hanging out with Rachel in the end. One of these personalities is hen party confidant as her active listening and keen observations almost call off a wedding while Thorogood captures the zesty energy of a night out with spots of color and swirly lines and layouts. It’s a shot of an adrenaline for the basically housebound Billie and launches her journey to meet and draw people. (And one cute dog.)

The supporting character that gets the most depth is Rachel as Zoe Thorogood digs deep into her family background, her passion for activism, and creates a nice rapport between her and Billie through dialogue and facial expressions. Like all great friendships, there is some tension later on the book, but Thorogood develops it organically and connects it to Billie’s past isolation and extreme introversion. She uses a nine panel grid for many of Billie and Rachel’s every day interactions with Rachel trying to play a gig at a local bar while Billie paints in an alley that gives feeling of comfort and routine that later gets disrupted. Also, Rachel and the aforementioned Arthur are a gateway to the communities of Third Chance (A shelter) and Funland from where Billie meets even more interesting people and finds more subjects for her paintings. It also showcases Zoe Thorogood’s ability to write different character voices.

The Impending Blindness of Billie Scott is a glorious and heart-rending look at creativity and relationships via the care-filled art and poignant writing of Zoe Thorogood. It shows all the bumps and bruises on the way to finding a found family and really captures what it’s like to deal with some life changing shit and come out pretty okay on the other side. I definitely look forward to checking out Thorogood’s future comics after being truly touched by this one.

Story: Zoe Thorogood Art: Zoe Thorogood
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.5 Overall: 9.3 Recommendation: Buy

Avery Hill provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Pre-Order (8th October (UK) / 14th October (USA)): Amazon

A Wave Blue World Kickstarts Maybe Someday: Stories of Promise, Visions of Hope

Maybe Someday: Stories of Promise, Visions of Hope

A Wave Blue World has announced the launch of its latest anthology, Maybe Someday: Stories of Promise, Visions of Hope which is now raising funds on Kickstarter. The graphic novel anthology is a sequel to All We Ever Wanted: Stories of a Better World which received a Ringo Award nomination for “best anthology.”

Maybe Someday is a new full-color anthology presenting over twenty-five aspirational stories to lift the spirits of readers and instill the hope that a brighter future is possible. Maybe Someday also reunites the publisher with the editorial team of Matt Miner and Eric Palicki.

The Maybe Someday Kickstarter campaign, running through the entire month of June, offers a Kickstarter exclusive cover, which is only available to backers. The cover art is by Max Dunbar with colors by Espen Grundetjern. Logo and cover design are by Tim Daniel. A different cover by this same team will be featured on the direct market edition when the book comes out later this year.

Other rewards include a digital sketchbook, signed bookplates, and combo packs of previously published anthologies.

Check out the full list of creators taking part, it’s a who’s who of comic talent:

Natasha Alterici, Alejandro Aragon, Darren Auck, Max Bemis, Anthony Breznican, Ryan Cady, Mario Candelaria, Joe Caramagna, Tyler Chin-Tanner, Gab Contreras, Shawn Daley, Jono Diener, Jeff Edwards, Greg Anderson Elysee, Mike Feehan, Ryan Ferrier, Joe Glass, Isaac Goodhart, Adam Gorham, Hagai, Ray-Anthony Height, Josh Hood, Daniel Kibblesmith, Konner Knudsen, Michael Kupperman, Alisa Kwitney, Valentine De Landro, Robert Lee, Yasmin Liang, Mauricet, John McFarlane, Matt Miner, Christopher Mitten, Michael Moreci, Steve Niles, Eric Palicki, Emily Pearson, Stephanie Phillips, Curt Pires, Sebastian Piriz, Andy Poole, Nick Pyle, Rod Reis, Renfamous, Marco Rudy, Ethan Sacks, Phillip Sevy, Erica Shultz, Martin Simmonds, Aubrey Sitterson, Stelladia, Sally Jane Thompson, Zoe Thorogood, Bobby Timony, and Rockwell White.

Poppy Returns to Comics in Z2’s Damnation: Poppy’s Inferno in July 2020

On the heels of the release of her brand-new album I Disagree on Sumerian records, and the launch of a 37 date tour to support it, Poppy announces her sophomore comic book effort, again teaming with writer Ryan Cady to pen Damnation: Poppy’s Inferno.

In Genesis 1, Poppy and writer Ryan Cady tackled themes of influence through a dissection of the relationship of fans and enthusiasts to the art on which they cast their own hope and belief. Damnation: Poppy’s Inferno continues down this path, this time putting Poppy in a story in which there are those who literally seek to control and change her for their own purposes and leading her through the depths of hell itself. Damnation 1 trades science fiction for horror, in another thought-provoking yet satirical look at fame.

Damnation  is fueled by the same spirit as Poppy’s new album, inspired by her quiet rise from incalculable phenomenon (with over half-a-billion views on YouTube) to unassuming paragon of high culture, high fashion, and high art, and will be released in July 2020, in both a standard and limited Z2 exclusive deluxe edition, with both available for preorder now. Damnation: Poppy’s Inferno is written by Poppy and Ryan Cady, and features art by Amilcar Pinna and Zoe Thorogood.

Damnation: Poppy’s Inferno

Avery Hill Publishing Reveals its 2020 Titles

Avery Hill Publishing has released the first look at their 2020 titles. Check out the video and the titles below.

Victory Point
by Owen D. Pomery
@odpomery / owenpomery.com

Victory Point

What We Don’t Talk About
by Charlot Kristensen
@zolwia / charlotkristensen.com

What We Don’t Talk About

Zebedee and the Valentines
by Abs Bailey
@barbawk / barbawk.com

Zebedee and the Valentines

The Impending Blindness of Billie Scott
by Zoe Thorogood
@zoethorogood / zlthorogood.artstation.com

The Impending Blindness of Billie Scott

The Flood That Did Come
by Patrick Wray
@patrickwray1 / patrickwray.com

The Flood That Did Come

by Katriona Chapman
@katchapman / katrionachapman.com