“Just to let you know that I came across the issue No2 of Bedsit Journal, it's a great work! I really enjoyed reading your stuff, and the magazine in general... There's not so much interesting new stuff around, so it was really refreshing to read it (How to Succeed at Failure works great!).”
- ALEXANDER ZOGRAF, AUTHOR OF ‘REGARDS FROM SERBIA’
"Just picked up a copy of your tawdry little magazine, from a shop called 'Gosh' in London, and found it deeply amusing. I larfed till I barfed! 'Bedsit Life', 'Psycho City', and especially 'Fashionable Fascism' all brilliant - in a slash-your-wrists kind of way.
Keep up the good work."
-ROGER SABIN, AUTHOR OF ‘ADULT COMICS: AN INTRODUCTION’ AND ‘COMICS, COMIX, AND GRAPHIC NOVELS’.
"First up, a A4-sized compilation featuring the likes of Richard Cowdry, Peter Lally, Alexandra Levin and others. I’d enjoyed Cowdry’s work in Kartoon Kuts a year or so ago, but the others were all new to me, figuring that if the works were of a similar nature to Cowdry’s, then I couldn’t go far wrong. And boy, did it pay off.
This is an excellent purchase. It’s filled with dark humour throughout, with a mixed bag of drawings to keep you on your toes - Makita & Cowdry’s slickly polished styles, Lally’s biro scrawl, Dunton’s angular carvings. It’s great, and has lots of ‘real life’ stuff that small-pressers crave, but unlike 90% of ‘real life’ stuff, there’s a funny story worth telling. Plus the final story ‘Samuel the Salesman’ made me spit out a mouthful of tea (and if you know me, you know I don't waste tea lightly). Hunt it down today!" - A Bit Nice Dot Com
This comics anthology provides a nice sampling of some of the great cartoonists running around the UK small press scene these days. The A4-size zine is very nicely produced, with offset printing on good quality paper. The humor is outrageous, sarcastic, and sometimes raunchy—inspired by the life of the struggling artist, the bedsit denizen, and the single, male barhop. Editor Cowdry contributes the majority of the pages, at times collaborating with Peter Lally and Trev Carolan on the stories and gags. Cowdry is an excellent cartoonist. His artwork is clean and crisp, his characters jump off the pages in moments of brilliant insight, twisted humor, and comical slapstick. There are several short comics that range from one to three pages about scoundrels like The Skipper, the big-chested, Crapper, and the perverse Peeper; as well as hard luck fools like "Fatty". But the issue's main feature is the laugh-packed saga of Going Solo in which a young would-be hipster is forced to go it alone on his night out clubbing. Interspersed between Cowdry's gems are one- and two-pagers by Bird, Mardou, Fortenski, Tim Levin, J. Edward Scott, and Ann Cattrall. It's a nice balance of different styles and voices that completes an excellent anthology title." - Poopsheet.
The Bedsit Journal No. 1 Various artists. Found: Mega City, Camden Town
Set in Dublin and refreshingly bitter. The artwork is loose and conversational, varying in topic and quality, generally circling the bedsit lifestyle of those who either attempt to live from their art or compromise with a soul-leeching office job.
The point of view for the entire collection could be the rat who, realising he’s been poisoned, dies a long Shakespearean death. These are the people who have no place in the city’s boastful, goodtime craic culture. They may be too intelligent or individual to fit in, or just socially repellent; which of these, only time will tell. The collection offers an example of both: one, Pat Keenan, who made nights out more interesting—and safe—with his unreasonable demands, and another, a hammy old stage and tele actor who plans a drunken advice session with a young actor to turn into a creepy seduction attempt.
Most of these characters, keenly aware that they will turn into one or the other depending on future artistic success, are living forward in retrospect, mostly paralysed. Isolated in grim little boxes, they are without dependable friends to provide perspective, and are easily overwhelmed by the demands of greedy acquaintances. Painfully familiar amusing stuff that left me recharged to get on with my own neurotic efforts.
Overall: intimate and promising series. - WordPress.com
Marshalled together by the artist and writer Richard Cowdry whose previous comic seed bombs include Kartoon Cuts and Knucklehead, this funny, bitter and vulgar collection of new comic book talent proves what can be done when you don’t play with the big boys. Filling in the space between the strips from other contributors – Peter Lally, Bird, Tim Levin, J Edward Scott, and Mardou & Fortenski – Cowdry is undoubtedly the main attraction here (some of the other material is demented and badly drawn; check out ‘I Love You Mr Chu’ and ‘Chery Spap’s Christmas’ if you need reassurance that anyone can be a comic artist). ‘Going Solo’ and ‘How to Succeed at Failure’ showcase Cowdry’s talents sublimely. These are works of disturbingly attractive fatalism and pessimism. Elsewhere, bits of tatty satire ‘Fearless Bob’ and ‘Martin Steals a Motor Car’ let the side down but for a second issue this scattergun selection certainly has legs, or at the very least badly drawn stumps. - The List.
"I've bought a few small press things recently but this is the one I've read first so I'll review it first. This is an anthology rather than a single story, and it works quite nicely. There's a good mixture of humour and human drama stories, with the standout being a wonderful satire on both 50's romance comics and the glut of semi-autobiographical indie comics about spineless young men." - What comic are you reading at the moment.
"Keep up the good work" - Peter Bagge
Richard Cowdry came to my attention in the multi-artist Rocket Science (review : bypasszine, 27/1/06). The Bedsit Journal # 1 (A4, 32pp; £3.00) is a black-and-white-throughout six-contributor, "adults only (sorry kids)" collection "for the discerning reader", featuring work by Cowdry, Matt Dunton, Peter Lally, Alexandra Levin, Tim Levin - and Takashi Makita, who, in the Fashionable Fascism double-page spread - a collaboration with Cowdry - expounds upon the true Japanese way of life : pollution, sexism, overpopulation, servility and giant insects are just a handful of the less appealing aspects of a country romanticised by Fruits book-owning, toy-collector westerners cooing, "Isn't Japan cool ?".
Co-authored by Lally/Cowdry, The Bedsit Life takes a peek into the world of a rented accommodation-dweller, starting with an at-school misfitdom which continues through sixth form and college, the solitary living only serving to perpetuate the chap in question's lack of social skills.
Tim Levin's Rat Poison follows the thoughts of a luckless rodent whose easily-won feast turns out to be its last. And I love Levin's The Lousy Life Of Unkle Spider : seven frames, in vertical format, in which Unkle S. becomes rich, albeit momentarily - he gets sliced by a dime !
In Dunton's Psycho City, a pensioner with a walking stick, sick of irresponsible along-the-prom cyclists, feigns a heart attack and fells a bike rider with the aforesaid cane. It's nicely structured, with a large frameless picture at the top and some of the smaller panels drawn around the lower legs and front wheel of the first pic's cyclist.
In Alexandra Levin's two-sided Samuel The Salesman, the at-breaking-point Samuel fixes upon the perfect solution to his problems. All is revealed when the reader turns the page - I'll say no more. Own today! - Bypass Review.
How George Herriman Got Me Laid by Richard Cowdry :
First of all, that's a really great title for a story. Cowdry has a minimal but slick style and is a good storyteller. The dialog in this comic is engaging and well executed. I like my diary comics to read like a diary but I like longer auto-bio stuff to read like a story and to have characters. (Even though I know the characters are real people. ) This fits the 2nd description. It felt like a small part of a longer story and I'd like to see more. (Of course, it is a part of a longer story. That story being the creator's life. So, Cowdry... Don't go dying.) - file under other.
At least one person involved in new 'alternative' comic The Bedsit Journal really does live in a bedsit. It's actually quite nice in a quaint, seventies comedy way! And the tenants are perfect hosts with great social skills and manna like packets of Resolve. However, there is no Morrissey-style romanticism whatsoever in any of the strips. In 'A Tale of Dublin City', Richard Cowdry and Pete Lally depict the life of loser Kevin Karolan, and his search for love and acceptance...or just sex. Cowdry's Crumb-inspired style perfectly suits Lally's acerbic writing and characterisation. In 'Fashionable Fascism', Takashi Makita and Cowdry ask why Japanese culture is so popular in Britain. The rest of the strips are filled with outsiders (rats, Columbian crack cocaine dealers, dominatrix). Though there's much identification, there is a thick dark streak of humour running through this collection...There's something very amusing about self-aggrandizing misery that's captured by the writing in this collection. Issue one is out now in shops and available direct from their website. - Suicide Notes.