Comic of the Month: Levelling Out, By Zoë Colling

This month on Comic of the Month we take a look at a story of everyday lockdown emotions with Zoë Colling.

Honest, real, funny and perfectly observed are all ways you could describe the work of Zoë Colling. Her full comics can be hard to find online (though there are a few snippets here), but that only makes her self-published zines like Deep Breaths, Pleasures and Wonders Never Cease even more treasured if you do manage to track down physical copies. They’re often understated, quiet stories that crystalise moments, with a knack for tone, dialogue and small gestures. For Spinoff’s Comic of the Month, she’s created a new story about the emotions of lockdown.

Zoë explains: “I write and draw autobiographical comics about my day-to-day life, memories, conversations, grief, past crushes, op shop finds and so on.

“At the moment, I’m trying to write a longer thing about my family. It’s about how we can inherit ways of relating to each other from our parents, and how those ways of relating are connected to our emotional lives in a more general sense. It can be a hard thing to write. Making a new comic was exciting to me, and since the pubs are closed, I had a little bit of time.

“Like a few people, I’ve been thinking about Covid. Scrolling news sites in between video meetings and making snacks. I wrote down some things that happened one day, during this current lockdown, and used those moments to help form this story. I was self-conscious writing it as it’s about feeling annoyed and having low-level worry – small issues at a time which is hugely stressful for lots of people. Nevertheless, it felt good to make the thing and maybe some others can relate.”




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