Reading has always been a pastime I’ve found difficult to appreciate and enjoy. However ever since deciding to pursue my interest in illustration at university, I’ve noticed my collection of books growing immensely; books about artists, illustrators, sketchbooks, plants, critical essays and some classic novels. Although, being a slow reader means my focus on particularly long narratives isn’t a strength hence why I’ve recently ventured into the world of graphic novels. My trip to Gosh! was just where I needed to be to delve deeper into my newfound interest.
With a vast array of publications spanning the two floors, I knew immediately this store will become somewhere I visit frequently. If I could’ve bought everything, I probably would have. There was so much to browse through, from Marvel and DC to Nobrow Press and independently published comic books. It was amazing to see the standards of the publications and how inventive people can be with the comic book format. Having experimented previously with making my own publications (Small Nature and Urban Botany), this was definitely valuable to me.
I was most interested in the independently published zines and comic books because the I felt as though illustrative styles were so different between them and they seemed like projects that were achievable. Outcomes I could strive towards for my own projects. Where paper stock, colour palettes, publication size and binding made a real difference in setting them apart from the rest.
Overall, I really enjoyed my visit to Gosh! not just because of what I can now bear in mind when creating my own publications in the future but due to the diverse graphic narratives available. Thus making me see that this way of storytelling doesn’t have to be off limits to me because I don’t enjoy drawing people and conventional narratives but that it can work regardless – so long as all elements are taken into consideration.