Francis Bear New Graphic Novel by Gregory Mackay

Art Press Release from Australia. Published by Rebecca Gabrielle Cannon on Sunday 19 September 2010.

Francis Bear New Graphic Novel by Gregory Mackay  image

Those of you with a passion for indie graphic novels will be very happy to hear that Gregory Mackay has a new book out. Francis Bear follows the drunken misadventures of a nihilistic teddy bear who - despite his best intentions - never gets anything right.

If you find yourself prone to failure on a regular basis, Francis Bear will comfort you with the knowledge that you’re not alone. However don’t expect much respite, because even if you’re as cute as a teddy bear, nothing is going to save you from your own relentless hopelessness.

Gregory Mackay is best known for his self-published graphic novel zine Terminal; a chilling study on the experience of cancer. His simple line-drawings underwrite a mastery of the graphic novel medium, driven by Mackay’s characteristic, filmic mise-en-scene. His story-strips move from well-angled, busy landscapes through to poignant close-ups that focus on symbolic moments of nothingness. Quips of ironic humour pull you back from the plot’s recurring despair.

This 120 page collection is not as refined the illustration style found in Terminal, however in the case of Francis Bear this is a good thing. Francis’ own Gen-X slacker attitude punctuates the drawings, with the occasional sketch-line still visible because no one bothered removing it, and some words barely legible because no one bothered writing the letters properly. The result is a laugh-out-loud, heart-warming homage to late-nineties, recession-browned-out ‘Alternative’ culture: the type where you’re too whatevs to bother even being alternative.

Worth every cent of the RRP $17.50 – at this price you can afford to buy one for yourself and another for your best mate as well.

Available online through Readings or Melbourne Uni Book Store.