The Windswept Tree

I was searching for some old artwork for something which might happen soon when I came across these original pages of The Windswept Tree. It was a small 22 Page, A5 self published comic I did for the 1998 Luxembourg Comics Festival (Festival International de la BD de CONTERN) a very long time ago now. There were about 50 printed copies and they had a car spray painted silvery effect on the card cover, achieved with the aid of a template cut from a sheet of acetate. I had just finished doing The Goathland Diary comic and this was a technique I had employed for that, for the second print run at least.

The artwork pages to The Windswept Tree are yellowing and smell a bit mildewy so I thought it best to scan them for the sake of posterity. The strip is pretty much wordless because I thought that would span the language barrier, my only claim to comic hobnobbing is I sold one to Charlie Adlard and maybe one to Arthur Ranson on the tables next to me, and that was about it really sales wise. "It's all cartoon motorbike rats and policemen with big noses over here" I was told by someone perusing my wares.

The story of The Windswept Tree is semi autobiographical in that people that I knew at the time in the village appeared as 'actors' in the strip, a wind blown journey through the village of Goathland in North Yorkshire, with me speculating in my own naive way, about what might be going on there. The structure at the end of the strip where the little cat ends up, for those of you who have not ventured over that way, is RAF Fylingdales which exists and looks pretty much as I've drawn it. Reality is stranger than fiction sometimes.

Hey, you're still here. I liked the strip, it was done over two weeks and drawn with indian ink and a small rigger brush. With hindsight the last page doesn't really make sense and I probably should have ended it on page 21 instead, although at the time it felt like the logical image to finish with.


Norbu Kelsang said…
Dear John – I had, and may still have one of these. I wanted you to know because I cherished it, and whether you intended it or not that introductory paragraph was a part of a spiritual journey which has resulted in me having been an ordained Buddhist monk for a decade now :o). I found your wonderful comic in a little shop (possibly a record shop) on Goodramgate, York. I think it was brand new. I hope it is still with some of my artwork, in my parents attic, from my student years i York. Totally important find in my life was that little book – and as I said, I possibly read more than I should have into that opening paragraph. Anyway I wanted to say thank you – and if you don't mind I'll stick these scans into Evernote for the memories? Kelsang Norbu.
Staz Johnson said…
Hi John, I too still have a copy of this kicking around here somewhere. I don't remember if you sent it to me, or if it was one of your works I bought from a (now closed) comic shop in 'The Old Vicarage' in Wakefield. All ways thought it was beautiful artwork. I drove past Fylingdales on the way to & from Whitby today, it's always an intriguing place.

I'm not a Buddhist monk.

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