It has been a while since I’ve been floored by a single page comics. They’re hard to master, yet somehow, Bex Glendining seems to be able to make them effortlessly. Take for example her comic I Am Enough, a thoughtful meditation on feeling inadequate. Over the course of a few panels, we see a woman’s hand going through flower beds as she’s questioning if there is anything wrong with herself. She wonders why people are leaving her, she’s unsure whether she should smile more or less. Until she reaches an ambiguous decision that she’s okay ‘I’m enough’. It’s a bittersweet ending as this can never be permanent. That the questions are being asked imply that doubt is there, but some fleeting feelings of being alright can still be achieved. It’s wonderful and it’s achieved in a single page.
Another powerful comic is Silence, a two-page comics about grief. Glendining focuses on small moments like a look at the side of a house or a waning flower to illustrate the shock of loss. When my mother passed away last year, the first few days after her passing where very blurry. I remember vividly returning to the palliative care home where she spent her last week and bringing chocolates to the nursing team. I remember where I got them from, but not how I got them. It’s like you are skipping time. Silence captures that feeling of, almost sporadic dissociation that can occur during the grieving process.
Bex Glendining is talented, her single page comics are incredible and so is her illustration work. She uses lush, vibrant colours in all of her work and uses them extremely well. The sample illustrations on her website are amazing. She’s using wonderful shades of pink, orange and purple in some of her work and the result is absolutely gorgeous. Her Korra and Poison Ivy fan art are absolutely outstanding.