Blat! #1

Mat Greaves newest release Blat! sees him delve into the world of anthologies and the underground vibe to his style for this one had me more than interested to see what it was all about.

Mat’s plan is to turn this one-man anthology that holds his illustrations, strips & stories into a regular outlet for experimentation with his own art and creative urges.  This opening issue sees him kick things off with a slick collection of strips that follow the theme of ‘work & play’ but he’s got far more layers than those two categories would suggest themselves.

Starting with a glimpse of a lifelong dream that’s been burning away since a childhood visit to the beech, through to a bleak glimpse of reality, to a mix of surreal and stark entries that portray life and some mundane events with a real sense of heart, the whole vibe of the book is firmly set with Mat telling the stories he wants to tell in the way he wants to tell him.  That liberating approach and a definite underground feeling to the art style he has give this an unhinged sense of charm from the very beginning.

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There’s an honesty about the work that’s on show and being reminiscent of the likes of Robert Crumb’s or Harvey Pekar’s approach to what the comic book medium can offer, it’s got some harsh reality checks slipped into some of the most unassuming pages that embrace the absurdity of every day life and just lay it all out for us to see.  There are some grim moments alongside some uplifting ones but it ultimately ends up being a slice of comic book genius wrapped up in a crude but engaging mix of observations.

Having already enjoyed Mat’s Chip McFitz this feels like he’s levelled up with his mix of stories & art really taking on a new lease of life – that’s no doubt in part to the freeing approach that his experimentation brings with it but to see that pay off in such a definite way is a heartening moment in indie comics at a time when the real world is giving us all a hard time.  Kudos to Mat for kicking things off like this and while some of the observations will hit some as too obscure in places, I can’t help but feel that the potential he is showing in this already will bring more readers to his work that will in turn become fans.

Check out Mat’s campaign for this one at the link below:

Blat! #1 Kickstarter

You can then get hold of this after the campaign on his online store where you can already get some of his cracking releases.  Keep tabs on this and all of his projects through his website, Instagram & Twitter pages too.



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