While Walkies! is an illustrated children’s book rather than comics (though techinically it is sequential art and makes use of comics tools like speech balloons) its provenance makes it a fitting subject for Broken Frontier coverage. It’s the work of one of the UK’s finest cartoonists David Ziggy Greene (Scene & Heard) and is published by the Bog Eyed Books, those splendid purveyors of all-ages comics albums. Greene is, of course, also the man behind Jam Bookshop which has done so much good work over the last year in boosting indie comics creators. Not simply by stocking their work but also through multiple and varied exhibitions and events.
One of the regular social media features from Jam is the shop’s ‘Customer of the Day’ posts featuring photographs of the always canine winners of that accolade. Greene’s affection for all things doggy is unquestionable then, and in Walkies! he introduces the reader to a number of four-legged friends as they enjoy their daily exercise.
There’s the over-excited Rosie straining at the leash for her walk; Norman who can’t stop himself from rolling in puddles; diligent guide dog Lola; and the yapping Pixie and Petal who like to make their presence known. These and many other furry characters appear in the book’s energetic 30-plus pages.
Greene’s elastic cartooning is at its very best in Walkies!. Not simply in terms of the various types of dogs on show and their sense of motion and movement but also in the way their individual characters are echoed in their physical representation. That events are all depicted from a dogs’ eye view of reality only adds to the impression that we are appreciating the thrill of walkies from their perspective. A delightful piece of graphic narrative for adults and small children to enjoy together.
David Ziggy Greene (W/A) • Bog Eyed Books, £7.99
Review by Andy Oliver