Random Journeys #1-3 by Rob Jackson

Categories:  Reviews

Random Journeys #1-3
by Rob Jackson

randomjourneysReading Rob Jackson’s minicomic series Random Journeys #1-3 was an unreasonably good time. The main plot follows a professor (who is also an archaeologist and father) with visions of grandeur and adventure that outweigh reality. Random Journeys #1-3 trace the professor’s trek into the jungle as he searches for a lost city that he read about in a map he found tucked into a rare manuscript at the British Museum. The professor’s version of the truth is incredibly entertaining because he laces each of his stories with adventure, so that in his mind, his wife was eaten by a crocodile and his rival archaeologist, Otto Balbek, has a hook for a hand. Really, his wife left him for cheating and Balbek’s excavation was ruined by the professor’s interference.

The professor is perfectly dorky looking in his black circular Harry Potter-esque glasses, Hitler mustache and hat of Pope proportions. His face is often stained with tears or sweat or both. He drinks. He’s a slob. He’s so comical in appearance and personality, yet so British (like Jackson), that the professor, as a character, is absolutely charming. It was easy to get swept up in the mystique of the jungle and the story I was being fed, even though it was more false than fiction.

The main story concludes within three issues but shorter comics help fill the extra pages. All of Jackson’s comics are full of imagination and quaint British slang. The stand-out comic short being “Our Coroner is an Owl,” which had me laughing from start to finish.

Jackson’s art is consistent from the beginning of Random Jouneys to its end. His style is distinctively sketchy but not in a way that implies he’s still learning. Often when a story carries over through multiple issues of a minicomic, the art grows more stylized and looks quite different by its end. Jackson’s multi-issue story offered a refreshingly cohesive body of artwork.

In fact, Jackson doesn’t mess around much with different styles and seems to be at home with his thinly pointed micron and sparce use of ink washes. He uses the same style to deliver more original stories at the back of each issue like “Cheap Neon Lights” about a writer in space and “Allotment Memories,” a conversation between two guys that don’t talk much about allotment gardens.

The comics are black and white with issues 2 and 3 sporting color covers. Issue 2 has a freak set of gold-colored cardstock endpapers that perplexed me. The page count ranges from about 10-14 pages each. I’ll direct you to Jackson’s website to learn more, but I warn you, it’s a bit ’90s: http://www.robjacksoncomics.com/.

Sarah Morean

No Comments to “Random Journeys #1-3 by Rob Jackson”

  1. rob jackson | October 12th, 2007 at 6:21 am

    thanks for the review! if any american readers would like to buy the comics they are for sale at http://www.secretacres.com

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