Marble Cake by Scott Jason Smith follows an ensemble cast as they stumble through life in South London. Each story is loosely connected to one another in an effort to show they are all really in the same boat. While the story can be depressing at times, Marble Cake offers a certain charm that is sure to entertain readers.
The story begins with Tracey, a cashier who has been suffering from a toothache and finds solace in the handicap restroom while at work. As she rings up the various customers, we get our first glimpse at the rest of the cast which includes a man who wants to shave all his hair off in the hopes of it growing back faster and an older gentleman who is forced to find new work. It’s through these comical and sad stories interwoven together that we are plunged into a world of absurdity and longing.
The artwork perfectly reflects the story as most pages are symmetrical with three square panels on each side. This evokes the feeling of voyeurism, as if we are looking out a window watching the story unfold. Despite there being so many characters, each one has a distinct character design, making it impossible to confuse anyone.
My only complaint of this comic (and, this is a big one) is the lettering. The lettering is in a cursive, hand-written-looking font. This is fine for only part of the comic but this font appears throughout the entire story. For someone with terrible eyesight, it becomes very difficult to read almost immediately. I found myself having to stop and take breaks from reading this comic simply because trying to decipher the writing was becoming a problem. Having to start and stop really ruins the flow of such an intricate story.
If you’re looking for something that features a variety of characters, each with their own personal set of baggage, this is the comic for you. It reflects the nature of life perfectly in its unpredictability, moments of hopefulness, and moments of despair. It’s a piece we can all relate to as, chances are, we’ve all been some of these characters at one point or another.
Avery Hill Publishing always manages to deliver such wonderful stories and this comic is no exception. We certainly can’t wait to see what sort of stories they bring to fruition next.