Review: Dump #3

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Writer – David Robertson

Artist – David Robertson, Neil Paterson, Pam Wye, Keara Stewart, Damon Herd, Donna Law, Ludi Price

Publisher – Fred Egg Comics

David Robertson’s Dump returns for its third and final issue, containing an eclectic mix of strips that range from one-pagers to serialised adventures. Arriving little more than a year after the previous issue, it demonstrates how productive the last twelve months have been for Robertson, reflecting his decision to take any comic related opportunity that came his way.

The results can be seen in this issue, an eclectic mix of strips that – due to their varied origins – keep the reader on their toes about what is coming next. Night-time nerves, bum monsters, time travel shenanigans, autobiographical stories and reflections on life and death: the variety of the strips here is truly impressive, highlighting Robertson’s willingness to experiment with different formats and genres.

The Orb panels

With seventeen different strips within there are a lot of standouts, but I found the following to be particularly successful:

‘Things to do at 3 o’clock in the morning’ and ‘Room tour’ have both previously appeared in Treehouse, Robertson being an active member of the Dundee comics scene. While the everyday concerns of the first strip contrast with the fantastical time travel element in the latter, both stories show Robertson’s skill in plotting and laying out his four page adventures. Their appearance in this anthology further benefits from Robertson’s notes on each story, providing information about the genesis of each strip and the creative intent.

Things to Do panels

‘What a difference a day makes’ is a real treat, an autobiographical story that recounts an event from Robertson’s school days (who knew that he was a contemporary of Bully Beef?). Nicely capturing the essence of the school environment and the constant struggle to fit in, a video of Robertson reading it can be found here

What a Difference panels

‘Bum monster’ is as enjoyably daft as its title suggests. Like a modern day Frankenstein’s monster the poor misunderstood bottom tries to find acceptance in a hostile world that seeks to accuse him on a bum rap. Originally produced as part of a kid friendly comics event, it’s a fun piece that I wish had been longer.

Bum Monster panels

One of the most interesting parts of the issue is the middle section, featuring work produced by Robertson as part of the ’30 Days of comics’ event. While producing a page each day must have been a tremendously difficult undertaking when balanced with the demands of everyday life, the results are very enjoyable. With the content of the strips including family life, personal reflections and a recurring Garfield homage, it’s an enjoyable mix.

Interspersed with Robertson’s solo efforts are a number of shorter strips that feature his collaborations with guest artists. From the contemplative to the whimsical, there are some nice ideas here. Again, many of the strips take as their starting point the innocuous thoughts we all have, building on this to create entertaining scenarios. ‘Maggie from Norwich’, describing growing infatuation with a gameshow contestant, is my pick from an entertaining group.

Room Tour panels

All in all, the final issue of Dump is an entertaining read, continuing Robertson’s strong recent form. He has announced that this will be the last issue of Dump, with his next comic planned to be a new title. It’ll be interesting to see what form his next efforts take as the planned title, Zero Sum Bubble Gum, raises as many questions as it answers.

More information about Robertson’s work can be found at the following location: http://fredeggcomics.blogspot.co.uk/

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