003: “Albion”

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Finally, the third instalment of Tales from the Border! It’s been a long wait, so thank you for being patient! This short comic was completed in just 2 1/2 days – a record for me, I must say – and I’m pretty happy with the results.

There were two main sources of inspiration here. In part, it was a response to the excellent short comic “Snow” by Askold Akishin, a beautifully rendered story of a fighter pilot whose plane is shot down and a subsequent supernatural visitation he is witness to. You can read this excellent story in The Mammoth Book of Best War Comics.

The second source was a lecture that Jamaican author Marlon James recently gave for the annual Tolkien Lecture at Oxford University. James, who has recently published the fantasy novel Black Leopard, Red Wolf, talks about how J. R. R. Tolkien’s experiences in WWI gave rise to his Legendarium. That going back to the myths and legends of England was a direct response to the physical and psychological trauma that he endured, and that writing these books was in some way an effort to mediate this trauma (It’s an excellent lecture, and I highly recommend you all listen to it, not just for Tolkien but for James’s thought processes behind creating his new fantasy novel).

Thus, “Albion” was born – an effort to do what Tolkien did, to some extent – looking at how myths, legends, and folklore can heal trauma, or alleviate it. A mythic past that can soothe unimaginable trauma.

Published 10th April 2019.

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