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iPhone app iPad app iPod Touch app digital to book ebook
Features: Graphic novel
Production credits: Great Beast Comics
Launch date: 22 Jan 2013

The internet is awash with comics. Once you start looking, they’re everywhere, and on every subject – the problems of printing and distribution made irrelevant. English-language comics aren’t restricted to the superhero genre any longer, as fans can trade the web-addresses of the authors they like.

Ellerbisms started as a diary comic, a cartoon reinterpretation of the events of Marc Ellerby’s day. This is a standard proving ground for many online comic artists, but Ellerby soon found himself involved in a fresh love affair that adds an emotional core to his story – and, unlike many diary comics, it does turn into a story. A common problem is that most people just don’t have enough happening in their life, and so the prospect of mining their everyday life for dramatic fodder becomes incredibly difficult. Annoyingly for Mr. Ellerby, this wasn’t the case.

The storification of his life is done by adding extra material at the start and end of the tale, a wise move that allows Marc Ellerby’s current style of drawing to serve as the introduction. Although he was already a published author, over the course of the book we see his visual style develop and become more fluid. His characters show a mix of anime and European influences, but the jokes are often astute observations on the lives of his friends.

Towards the second half of the book, as his relationship with his girlfriend deepens, this casual humour is pared down, and seemingly replaced with a more thoughtful, long-term view. This might be due to the clever editing though, as the collected edition doesn’t quite collect every strip, and – as noted earlier – a new set of strips supplies an ending in keeping with the rest of the story.

Ellerbism’s success is due to the strong characterisation and humour Marc manages to write into his work. He shows himself to be as flawed and as human as any of us, even if we haven’t quite got it together to make our life into a neatly-drawn comic.

Marc Ellerby

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