Rebecca Bagley’s steampunk fable Tick is a 36-page colour small press comic. Its starting point centers on a new homeowner’s discovery of a curious, kettle-headed, mechanical creature hidden away in the house she has just purchased. Obviously sentient, but forlornly uncommunicative, it soon becomes obvious that this hi-tech-yet-retro homunculus’ original function has been lost to the mists of time.
As comic critic Andy Oliver (Managing Editor of Broken Frontier and contributor to Paul Gravett’s “1001 Comics You Must Read Before You Die”) said in his weekly column at comics news site Broken Frontier: “The “Tick” of the book’s title refers to the fact that this little metal man’s mechanism seems also to be faulty and, while he ticks, he does not tock. As the story progresses, the readers observe the author’s ponderings on the origins of the character and her various attempts to find him a new role within the domestic arrangements of the house. Trapped out of time in a world he never made can our tiny robot ever find contentedness again?”
And Andy Oliver speaks more about his experience in picking up this precious and original little book at the English Comica Festival Comiket convention: “We speak a lot about “all-ages” material in the comics media these days, perhaps to the extent that the original meaning of the term seems to have been lost somewhere along the line. To me the label “all-ages” should mean more than just “suitable whatever your chronological longevity”; it should also be defined as material that speaks to each reader in differing ways as befits their relative life experience. Tick is a near-perfect example of this. Younger readers will love it as an enchanting tale of a lost robot in a contemporary world. Adult readers will find it speaking to them on much deeper levels because Tick is as much a story about feelings of redundancy and isolation, of the importance of a sense of purpose and of knowing our place in the world, as it is an urban fairy tale.”
From the accompanying preview pages you can get an immediate idea of how Bagley juxtaposes the bizarre and the everyday in her collaged artwork to outstanding effect. In mood and composition her pages effortlessly shift from the dark and the sombre through to the uplifting and the triumphant, as and when appropriate to the narrative.
Bagley presents a layered and captivating tale here, brought to visual life with an exquisite eye for detail and a remarkably assured and confident storytelling style. If you don’t instantly fall in love with Tick after a first reading then, quite frankly, you have no soul…
Tick is available priced £6.00 plus postage. To obtain this gem and to find out more about Rebecca’s work, please check out her website here http://bagleybooks.com/.
About Rebecca Bagley
Rebecca was born and grew up in Surrey before moving to Canterbury with her partner for a few years to hang out with Romanians and sell carpets. Now she’s on the move again to Bath, firstly for kicks and secondly to improve her knowledge of Graphics and Illustration at the University of Bath Spa.
She collects graphic novels, children’s books and other such graphic publications and is usually working on a creation of her own, either writing, drawing or both.This ordinarily takes the form of a story, print or comic or book but it has also been known to require a needle, thread and old socks.