Windy Corners is a series edited by Austin English. This issue features two ongoing comics by English, “Life of Francis” and “My Earliest Memory”, as well as an interview with Portland cartoonist Andrice Arp. There are several beautiful paintings by Paula Salemme, an essay by Steve Lafler, and a comic by Richard Hahn.
What is especially interesting about Windy Corners #1 is that English sticks to his aesthetic without being exclusionary. All the work is consistent and high quality; I’m especially grateful for the feature of two awesome female artists. The interview with Andrice Arp is great because English, as an artist, knows what questions to ask. Learning about an artist’s influences, process, and personality is what I care about in an interview; Andrice delivers intricate, detailed answers.
Paula Salemme’s paintings add a nice pause between text and image sections. Her densely-packed works are full of rich colors and textures that I don’t usually see paired together. They work well side-by-side with comics by English, who also uses a variety of texture, experimenting with flatness and form.
English leaves all edits (or perhaps they’re intentional to add grit) on top of his comics, allowing for a messier look than traditional comics. Each page is immersive and full of color & text. Both of his comics seem autobiographical, despite one being about a young girl named Francis. Perhaps English is reflecting on childlike times and behavior by giving his work a looser look - either way, it works well and each page flows into the next despite the colors and sometimes appearance of characters constantly changing.
Hahn’s comic is also loose, moody, with black lines and an array of ever-changing shapes. The ten pages reflect on Saul Steinberg as an artist and do him justice with soft colors and overlapping lines.
Overall, Windy Corners is a wonderful compilation of original works. Aside from the contents, the book is printed in deep colors and formatted - dare I say - adorably. The end pages to the full bleed is considered, and it’s the little things that count!
(80 interior pgs, 6 1/2 ” x 9 1/2″, Full Color, Sparkplug Books)