I first came across Kate Brown’s work via the now defunct DFC Library, for whom she produced a gorgeous comic called The Spider Moon, a fantasy adventure with distinct Studio Ghibli undertones. I still harbour the comic fan’s popular dream of seeing that story finished one day, but Brown has since moved on. In 2011, she produced her first graphic novel, Fish and Chocolate, a collection of allegorical stories exploring the themes of grief, motherhood and family, which was decidedly more adult in material and audience and marked her evolution as both a writer and artist. Evocative and literate, disturbing and beautiful, Fish and Chocolate signaled Brown as a rapidly rising talent.
More recently, she wrapped up the The Lost Boy, a stranded desert island tale, for brilliant weekly children’s comic, The Phoenix, and is currently still contributing to that publication. Brown’s art is what makes her work instantly recognisable: combining features of manga with a clear, fine line, along with her distinctive colouring choices- it’s striking in a unique way. While I really enjoy Brown’s child- friendly work, I hope she gets the opportunity to build upon the path she began to lay down in Fish and Chocolate: exploring more complex and interesting subject matter in an adept and progressive manner.