Sep 11, 2018
The Great North Wood, which was just released through Avery Hill Publishing, is Tim Bird’s longest work to date. It’s the story of -- or perhaps a better way of putting would be that it’s a history or a meditation on -- an area in South London known for its wooded past. This includes areas such as Norwood, Gipsy Hill, Honor Oak, and Sydenham Hill Woods. In fact, as Tim mentions in the interview, Sydenham Hill Woods is really the last vestige of the heavily forested area south of London, and it’s where Tim and his family currently reside. What makes The Great North Woodstand out is Tim Bird’s use of geographic space to tell his story. As he and Derek discuss over the course of their conversation, character is at a minimum in Tim’s work, and he uses location and space to carry his narrative. What’s more, the creator often underscores the mystery and magic that has traditionally been a part of Britain’s wooded areas. Much of Derek's talk with Tim centers on the new book, but they also discuss his previous comics, such as the various works in his Grey Areaseries, also published by Avery Hill. These are also largely based on location and geographic space, and Tim goes into detail about his evolution as an artist, working through his Grey Areacomics to get to a place where he can more fully explore his surroundings in his latest book.