Trains Are…Mint #1 by Oliver East

Categories:  Reviews

Trains Are…Mint #1
by Oliver East
Rolling Stock Press

Oliver EastMore of a illustrated ‘zine than a comic, really, but who are we to complain? The world needs more of these sort of things, swiftly becoming fewer and further between, as the blog format adds a few more tentacles to its mutant octopus-like dominance upon youthful expression. Of course none of this is to say that we’d ever speak ill of the blogosphere.

We love this blogging thing, with all of our collective hearts, but there’s a certain sense of tactile pleasure to be had in holding one of those folded 8 ½ x 11 books in your hand, which can be snuggly maneuvered into a back pocket with a little bit of DIY origami, and if it means we have to stray a tad from the strict paneled formula, in order to send a little shout out to the dying world of the photocopied ‘zine (though, for the record, Train Are…Mint was most certainly not printed on the busted machine in the corner of some dusty drugstore), then so be it.

Trains Are…Mint is one-part travelogue, one-part transit survey, following the narrator around to different Manchester railway stations. The books text reads like sometimes poetic excerpts from the writer’s diary. The short burst of writing don’t always make sense, unless perhaps, you have some background into the writer’s life, but they never feel out place, and are at times strangely comforting in their familiarity.

The book’s line drawing are on the crude side, as if sketched in the few moments spent before walking on to the next destination. It’s East’s watercolors that make the whole excursion worthwhile, perfectly capturing a desolate afternoon, out back behind some abandoned Manchester warehouse.

Trains Are…Mint is not the most accomplished work in its field, nor is it always possible to decipher, but it certainly warrants a shove in the old back pocket, before your next long train ride.

–Brian Heater

No Comments to “Trains Are…Mint #1 by Oliver East”

  1. Jim Medway | March 30th, 2007 at 7:40 pm

    I love Oliver’s work, – as depressing and funny as a day following the train tracks should be. Always engaging, and rendered with just the right amount of detail and care needed to convey the mood. Please buy these then he can make some more for me to read.

  2. tips | September 22nd, 2007 at 4:40 am

    Thanks for your site!

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