Thursday, January 10, 2019

"Kingdom" by Jon McNaught (Nobrow Press)

There's something to be said for a book that manages to perfectly encapsulate the essence of a typical British family holiday.

Jon McNaught's "Kingdom" is quite a strange little beastie, a graphic novel that feels more like a gorgeous piece of art than anything else. Yet it conveys a story in tightly rendered artwork and tiny little panels that so many of us will be utterly and completely familiar with.

A mum and her two kids are embarking on a holiday to a windswept caravan park seemingly in the middle of nowhere.

The book begins as their journey begins, complete with all the usual annoyances any journey in the British Isles comes complete with. Rubbish traffic, kids playing up in the car and kicking each other's seats, appallingly soulless motorway service areas - yet Jon gives them an almost ethereal beauty, thanks to some truly stunning art.

We both love how the book captures the child characters so accurately too.

Holiday! Celebrate! A book that perfectly captures a british seaside holiday. 
For example the younger sister is a bit of a daydreamer, consumed with all things girly. Her older brother is a typical teen boy, always with an edgy interest in anything remotely subversive.

A british holiday without torrents of rain? Unheard of!
Jon's tight panelling almost makes you dizzy with so many tiny little gorgeous panels crammed into most page spreads, with the book breaking out into full spread illustrations in places as well.

"Let's go to the museum!" (SO familiar, this!)
I was quite taken by this as it felt like it was mirroring my own childhood experiences of family holidays, and 5 (oh my god, FIVE!) people crammed into a Mini Metro along with their luggage, tootling off to some coastal caravan park.

 C was less impressed though I think it's probably because we don't actually have many holidays like this ourselves, almost a shame as there's an undeniable charm and appeal to something so simple and yet so satisfying.

"Kingdom" by Jon McNaught is out now, published by NoBrow Press (kindly supplied for review).