Dead Trees #2
“Dead Trees is another anthology format comic which is produced in Glasgow. The second issue weaves the images of trees through a number of stories. Leaves from the Chimera Tree, by G Johnstone, utilizes leaf motifs, substituting their natural veined forms with shades of the social bioorganism: leaf 8 ‘controlling operations’, features a male individual with thoughts transmitted from his head along the leaf structure.
Less profound, but a lot more fun is Harry Healy’s Dead Trees on the Freeway, in which a group of teenagers are forced to come up with novel and tangential uses of personal possessions, in order to clear the road of some trees that have blocked their path (the strip is also gently satirical of cartoon teenagers. I was almost sure that someone was going to say to them “If it wasn’t for you those trees would still be there).
With its focus on illustration rather than narrative, and an unerring analysis of the mundane, Dead Trees has a tendency to look like a collective bolt-hole for ex art students and print makers. This shouldn’t put you off, as much of the work, such as Colin Forrester’s Long Distance Information is inventive. I get the feeling that Johnstone the editor needs more material to choose from, which would iron out some of the weaker work.
Worth the price of admission alone for Harry Healy’s Today’s Highlights, which combines macrocosm and microcosm, personal life and anthropology in a single page”.
Variant #10 (p63).