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It’s good to be back


Junot Diaz's short stories illustrated by the great Jaime Hernandez.
Junot Diaz’s short stories illustrated by the great Jaime Hernandez at Gosh! Comics, Soho.

It’s a fleeting visit to London, but lovely to be back in the town I grew up in. When I was 12, comics were like religion. Almost every Saturday I’d be in town with paper delivery or window cleaning or whatever money, visiting Forbidden Planet and Gosh! comic shops. The series that really raised my heart rate was Love and Rockets. Jaime and Gilbert Hernandez were mysterious gods, not just because of the economy of their lines, but for the complex magical reality they crafted for their characters… So real and exotic to me that I looked for whatever glimmer of their likenesses I could find in the people around me for years to come!

Great model of London at the NLA, the centre for London's built environment
Great model of London at the NLA, the centre for London’s built environment

Visited two of the key WW1 exhibitions, the first at Morley College, which is a fascinating collection of ephemera, paintings, sketches, propaganda posters. And then the far more substantial, although not particularly coherent exhibition at the Imperial War Museum.

Liss Fine Art collection at the Morley Gallery
Liss Fine Art collection at the Morley Gallery

german-prisoner-badges-960One thing that struck me as odd was the absence of J.G. Meyer’s The World Undone from the otherwise pretty comprehensive library of history books for sale… Not entirely sure why such a seminal history should be missing and assume it’s a political decision.books-ww1Meyer makes very clear the decisive, vital role of Australian and Canadian fighting forces and strategies in Entente/Allied victory. A very fine work and a glaring omission from the otherwise excellent book collection on offer.

Window display of a Soho textile shop.
Ominous window display of a Soho textile shop.