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Rob Jackson - "It's a Man's Life in the Ice Cream Business Part 1"
gulagcomics
It's a long time since I've written a review of someone else's work to go up on here, and its great to get back into doing such with a peek at a comic by my old pal and colleague Rob Jackson.

His latest serial offering (this is the first part, of two) is an autobio comic, detailing his decision to abandon a life of office drone drudgery in favour of supporting himself and his art through the manufacture and sale of ice cream.






This is a subject that I have (sort of) personal experience of. A year or so ago, my fiance started her own vegan cake business (www.deerlybelovedbakery.blogspot.com) - so the ups and downs of cottage industry food production and retail are well known to me. My better half and I laughed plenty at Rob's over-analysing of customer reactions to his wares, as related through his wry story-telling style.

In the early pages of this comic, Rob tells us how he decided to quit his job and sell ice cream so that he'd have more time to concentrate on his comics. It's fitting that some of his first comics work since going into the ice cream trade should revolve around the very thing that's supposed to be providing financial support. It seems Rob's getting a lot more out of his newfound business venture than he initially suspected. Not only is hawking ice cream around at farmer's markets providing Rob with an income, it's also inspiring his art.

As is often the case with Rob's work, the drawing is somewhat erratic. The first few pages are extremely loose pencil drawings, that sharpen up and become more defined as his business begins to take shape. Rob's clearly more comfortable drawing backgrounds and scenery than he is rendering the human form, but the simple figures aren't distracting, and the slice-of-life narrative is the main focus here anyway.

This is a great addition to Rob Jackson's rich and varied oeuvre, and I look forward to reading part two.

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