The Bedsit Journal No. 1
Various artists
Found: Mega City, Camden Town

Set in Dublin and refreshingly bitter. The artwork is loose and conversational, varying in topic and quality, generally circling the bedsit lifestyle of those who either attempt to live from their art or compromise with a soul-leeching office job.

The point of view for the entire collection could be the rat who, realising he’s been poisoned, dies a long Shakespearean death. These are the people who have no place in the city’s boastful, goodtime craic culture. They may be too intelligent or individual to fit in, or just socially repellent; which of these, only time will tell. The collection offers an example of both: one, Pat Keenan, who made nights out more interesting—and safe—with his unreasonable demands, and another, a hammy old stage and tele actor who plans a drunken advice session with a young actor to turn into a creepy seduction attempt.

Most of these characters, keenly aware that they will turn into one or the other depending on future artistic success, are living forward in retrospect, mostly paralysed. Isolated in grim little boxes, they are without dependable friends to provide perspective, and are easily overwhelmed by the demands of greedy acquaintances. Painfully familiar amusing stuff that left me recharged to get on with my own neurotic efforts.

Overall: intimate and promising series.