Ed Pinsent’s Magic Mirror

Oh, now this is good news!

I was searching around the Internets for some scans of Luke Walsh‘s early work to avoid rummaging in the cupboards for my own copies of his comics and zines when I came across Ed Pinsent’s website. If you were interested in underground / self published / alternative / downright odd comics in the 1980s and early 90s then Ed was part of the pantheon of artists worth paying attention to along with Eddie Campbell, Glenn Dakin and the rest of what’s become known as the Escape gang.

Ed is interesting for a couple of reasons. Firstly he was not just a creator but a key figure on the scene, running the Fast Fiction anthology in the 1980s which would lead to Zum and Slab and everything else that followed. He was one of the seekers and connectors that pulled and held it all together.

More importantly he is a true artist. His work is special but also, I feel, important as Ed appears to have no obvious influences within the field. He has spent his career carving out something that is unique and very English in a way I’d never seen before and have rarely seen since. I’m not ashamed to say his work often went over my head, coming as it seemed from literary traditions I wasn’t literate in, but when I persevered it always rewarded.

(If pushed I’d say his work is stylistically a cross between Jim Woodring and Tove Jansson but ask me again and I’ll say something utterly different.)

Like many of his peers, his work has been scattered across self published pamphlets and short-run volumes. What it needed was a Great Big Book. And now there is one.

magicmirror_full

354 pages of comics from 1983-1998, all newly scanned from the original artwork. Half the book is short stories and the other is his signature character Windy Wilberforce. Published last month.

Available from the publisher for £12 or Amazon for £12.99.

Mine is on order.

2 thoughts on “Ed Pinsent’s Magic Mirror

  1. Ed Pinsent

    Dear Pete

    Very many thanks for your generous remarks in this very positive post. I don’t think my comics really come from “literary traditions”; I just follow my heart. All my stories come from my imagination, an inner voice. I would always urge any writer, artists or creator to do the same (not that anyone ever asks me for advice!).

    There are some notes written by me in the back of this book, which you will see when your copy arrives. It is the first time I’ve ever really gone public with any detailed explanations of my stories.

    I also wanted to make sure that Paul Gravett and Phil Elliott receive credit for their pioneering work with (respectively) the Fact Fiction mail order service / stall, and the Fast Fiction magazine. They did it first, I just inherited the tasks from them.

    Regards

    Ed

  2. Pete Ashton

    Thanks Ed,

    Sorry for the “literary tradition” thing – maybe “coming at things from a direction unfamiliar to me” would be more accurate.

    And yes, Paul and Phil definitely deserve credit, but once you start down that road you’re writing history books!

    Looking forward to the book.

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