Word Balloons - A monthly review column by Philip Bentley
Philip Bentley has had a long term involvement with comics in this country dating from the 1970s. He was a partner in the Minotaur comic shop from its founding in 1977 to his departure in 1989. In the 1980s he helped edit and publish two major anthologies, Inkspots and Fox Comics. He has also written the occasional strip, a collection of which Passionate Nomads was published in 2006. From 2005-2013 he produced Word Balloons a magazine about Australian comics, wherein he reviewed various local productions. In 2014 he was a member of the judging committee for the Ledger Awards.
Philip writes, “While I freely admit that reviewing books was one of the least enjoyable parts of producing Word Balloons I did feel that there needed to be someone out there providing balanced critiques of current work. Apparently I wasn’t alone in feeling this way as Matt Emery has now prevailed upon me to produce a monthly review column for Pikitia Press."
“Publishers and creators are welcome to send books/zines to be assessed for review to P.O. Box 286, Sandringham, Vic, 3191. Alternatively you can send a pdf by uploading it to a file deposit site and sending the link. You can also send links to webcomics. Email secondshore [at] yahoo [dot] com. Don’t send files as there is a download limit on this email.
“Note that this doesn’t guarantee a review – this will depend on how I find the work and available time and space. Put simply my take on ‘balanced’ means that there will be both positive and negative elements to most reviews. I do not rule out presenting a totally positive review if I really enjoy something, but I will not run one that is totally negative, or for a book I can’t find a ‘hook’ to hang the review on.”
Ed's note: I'll be running the first review column of Phil's this weekend and in the first week of each month onwards. Phil's Aus comics magazine Word Balloons and his other writings can be purchased directly from him via Second Shore.