By Laurence Herfs
I am highly frustrated by how dominant the written word still is nowadays. Visuals are gaining popularity, though, and comics are the perfect answer to that clash. Hanging Rock Comics is just one example of the great things this combination can lead to.
Comics combine writing and visuals into a whole new, and much more powerful, dimension of art and narrative. They can be both critical like journalism and relaxing like art. Sounds interesting? Next time you find yourself procrastinating on Facebook, Tumblr, or wherever you find your buzz, check out thisishangingrockcomics. You’ll find yourself both amused and bewildered by how cool comics can be.
Tumblr is refreshing and can be designed and used according to your own taste. Personally, I’ve found some of the most amazing contemporary artists there over time. One of them is 18-year-old Taylor-Ruth, who publishes her thoughts in the form of doodles under the name Hanging Rock Comics. She’s raw, she’s rough, and she has opinions. She’s one of the coolest people I-don’t-actually-know-but-really-would-like-to. Being a cartoonist myself, she’s my heroine beyond words.
She voices the frustrations of teenagers and young adults on love, life, bullying, sexuality, feminism, and Hollywood movies. Her style is dense, her words are handwritten and sometimes hard to distinguish. You need to be in the mood for her work, but Taylor-Ruth’s doodles have an edgy, refreshingly unprofessional dark touch to them. She’s not scared; not of the Internet’s harsh opinions nor those of her classmates. She just rages all over them. She’s indie, but not hipster; she’s non-mainstream, but not in that needy, attention-seeking way.
I often find myself in complete awe of her way of face-palming society and our generation’s stupidity. That doesn’t mean that she feels better than us, or above us in any way. On Valentine’s Day she will draw a cartoon of her frustrated self eating ice cream, because she’s still one of us. She seems to be more too, though, because she can roll her eyes and step away from it all. She’s got what it takes to be a cartoonist: That way of looking on life from the outside for a split-second, snorting at it loudly.
Find her comics here: http://thisishangingrockcomics.tumblr.com/