After attending Thought Bubble this year I purchased a number of small press comics, one of the best of which has to be Joann Domink and Faye Simms The Foldings. Set in utterly breath-taking scenery, the first issue of The Foldings displays a playful comic accompanied by a short prose tale in the back, introducing us to the characters and the world of The Foldings.
The comic itself centres around the characters Micah and Jasper browsing a local market which houses some humorous magical wares. These include hot-toppers (hats which keep your head warm) and dust-eating fabric – both of which I think should definitely exist! As the characters converse through elegantly coloured panels we discover the rules of the world. Micah is a very skilled wizard for example, whilst Jasper has no magical power; the story drip-feeding these concepts to the reader.
The physical edition itself is beautifully made with gorgeous colours and a shiny cover. The character’s relationships are at the heart of the story making the fantasy aspects more believable to those who are slightly wary of the fantasy genre. The panels are spread out well with lots of room for Faye Simms’ detailed backdrops. The way in which magic is displayed is well-done and blends well with the rest of the art. The text is clear despite being hand-written – it gives the story a more organic feel and allows for more effects. One particular page of a child dropping through the sky is panelled in such a beautiful way, capturing the reader’s attention, and the use of page spread throughout really helps to depict the world in which the story is taking place.
Moving on to the prose tale, it is illustrated in the same style as the comic. The prose itself is lively and although it looks rather daunting in comparison to the simplicity of the comic it is written in the same playful style. The illustration really helps with the visualisation of the story, especially concerning the more fantastical aspects. In the story, Priori and Orla are introduced and we discover how the airships are built and run in the world. Jasper and Micah feature as well, the familiarity assisting the reader in placing the story in the context of the world of The Foldings.
In the back of the book other extras are included. One of these are character profiles which help to provide a little extra information about the characters and their motivations, as well as a few pages dedicated to how the world featured in the comic was designed. This is especially interesting as it shows the process behind constructing fantasy elements and displays Simms and Dominik’s vision.
The Foldings is an utter delight and I’m sure the next issues will be just as sweet and interesting.
Joann Dominik (W), Faye Simms (A) • Self-published, £6.00
You can order The Foldings #1 online here.
Review by Holly Raidl