Ryan Claytor rose to the challenge I set out to all you mini-comic creators out there, and sent me #2-4 of his autobiographical series, And Then One Day. And I’m glad he did, as And Then One Day made for a very engaging, fun read. Although, missing #1, I was totally lost as to what was going on in the plot!
That was a joke, of course, as And Then One Day is a journal, with each page representing a different day in Claytor’s life. #2-4 covers Fall 2004-Spring 2005. It is all very easy to understand, and in addition, very easy to relate to. Like Brandon Hanvey, there is a massive likability to Claytor’s pieces. He may draw the mundane at times, but he makes the mundane feel anything but mundane. In addition, like Hanvey, Claytor uses a cartoonish yet expressive style.
Here’s a sample piece where we see what I mean in the title of this piece where I refer to just how passionately Claytor takes comic books (okay, the phrase Passionately Produced is on the back cover of his comic, too)…
In addition, here is a sample where we can see more of a sequential art sample of Claytor’s work, as well as some of the humor present in this series.
An interesting aspect of the series is how Claytor (once again, like Hanvey) is big on the book having an “All-Ages” vibe, which means very interesting takes on two breakups shown in the comic (which reminds me of a funny bit he does where he responds to a critic expressing surprise at how happy his life seems by doing a tale of woe soon after he breaks up with his girlfriend).
Going back to the “passionate” theme again, something that jumps out about And Then One Day is how Claytor has devoted so much time and energy into making the comic LOOK good, format-wise. He prints each issue on a colored velvet cover, has a very professional-looking merchandise page and even has a LETTERS COLUMN!
And Then One Day is currently on hold (although a longer version, done in more of a sketchbook format, will be coming out soon from Claytor) as Claytor continues grad school. Hopefully, when he finishes, though, we will see some more projects from him. Claytor’s work basically gives the reader the same kind of fun that Tom Beland gives his readers, and that’s the sort of comics we need more of – the good ones. And if you want ANOTHER opinion, none other than Josh Cotter (whose work I love, and you all should love, as well) thinks that Claytor and And Then One Day are awesome, so the only reason YOU should think OTHERWISE is if you are one of those contrarian types!
Don’t be a contrarian type, go to Ryan’s website here and order some of his comics!
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