Review Blog

Oct 06 2011

Sensitive Creatures by Mandy Ord

cover image

Allen and Unwin, 2011. ISBN 978 1 74237 216 7.
Suitable for upper secondary students and adults. At first glance this collection of 39 short, black ink comics featuring Mandy Ord's trademark 'one eyed girl' seems to belong in the company of those slightly offbeat street and graffiti art books. However the 'sensitive creatures' that inhabit the stories, finding ways to live conscientiously in a sometimes challenging urban environment, deserve a wider readership. Mostly autobiographical, Mandy's challenges range from finding ways to deal with aggressive thugs on public transport and engaging disinterested students in art classes to agonising over having almost driven her car into a pedestrian. Simply linked with frames showing the artist struggling to find a new idea for a story, this collection reminds us that to live with integrity and care about the people we interact with every day is not always easy. Orr lives and works in Melbourne so the urban landscape has a familiar feel, one of my favourite parts is her comment, on visiting her sister in Brussels and observing the differences, 'I can't ever imagine there being a hard rubbish in Brussels' p.130. Art and media students will find her comic style interesting and accessible.
Sue Speck

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