I don’t think I even know about the genre that Aly Fell’s A Trick of the Light pays homage to. Nonetheless, I was impressed by this book just the same. This gorgeous 40-page comic is inspired by British Girl Comics of the 1960s and 1970s.
This story tells the tale of two Brit school teachers on a sunny day. They are off to have a romantic dalliance, but all isn’t quite what it seems. Fell’s phenomenal art is breathtakingly brilliant – sweet and soaring while grounded in solid storytelling. His skill at depicting figures, emotions, automobiles, and landscapes is even more engaging when coupled by his clever compositions and cinematic sense of storytelling.
I stumbled across Fell’s artwork a while back. About a dozen years ago, Asylum Press had sent copies of their books to our consulting firm, Bonfire Agency. Fell’s covers stood out. They were designed to stop readers in their tracks – gorgeous women in macabre situations with masterful painting and colors.
Not long after, Fell’s The Shadow Glass was published by IDW in 2017. This was a creepy story mixing occultists with a bit of Three Musketeers vibe. A real treat to view and a master class for any artist who read it.
In my faculty role at Ithaca College’s School of Business, I often think about the undisputedly historical coolest faculty member of this college: Rod Serling. In fact, I was just teaching a class on Serling – trumpeting his creativity and spirit of entrepreneurism. I realized that one of the reasons I like A Trick of the Light so much is that it has a “Twilight Zone” feel to it all.
Trick of the Light is (mostly) in glorious black and white and set in the 60s, like The Twilight Zone’s episodes. The creepy, not-fully explained story could easily have fit into an episode. In fact, I can almost hear Rod Serling teasing that “Maltson Secondary Modern school’s art teacher, Ruth Linwood, isn’t just going for a walking in the countryside, she is about to enter…. The Twilight Zone” if he had made one of his signature introductions to this story.
I backed this project from Fell’s Kickstarter. It exceeded all its goals (rightfully so). I’m glad I did.
Editor’s Note: This project was highlighted by PCS as a Kickstarter You Should Be Backing in November.
A Trick of the Light is available in a hard cover and softcover version, and I highly recommend you seek it out.