Mutual Slump Comics is a comic zine started by James Cornell and Craig Phillips. The pair met in Preston, North West England, through their girlfriends. When James moved back to the North East of England the friends continued to talk to each other via a postal book swap. Sending each other comics and books with reviews attached grew into the idea of starting a zine and the name 'Mutual Slump' was taken as it represented the pairs need to do something creative.
The first drawings were started by James in 2008 on the long train journeys from Newcastle to Hexham while traveling to work. These where collected and posted to Craig as and when they were done. Craig took over the editorial position which meant he cut things out and stuck things together. The first issue was really about finding their feet and the process of doing a comic with no prior experience and maintaining a long distance friendship.
Once work was completed the final draft was posted to James who took it into his local comic store who sold it in their small press section. The response to the first issue was positive and the work for issue two started straight after.
Review for 'Mutual Slump' issue one
observational / auto-bio comic put together by long distance friends and told in short fragmented narritives that straddle both comic and prose camps. Very human, very relatable and a perfect slice of life book for fans of Jeffrey Brown, Seth or Adrian Tomine. Pick it up! - Jack
The second issue of 'Mutual Slump' took a long time to complete- although shorter then the first by ten or so pages, the style has grown a slight more confident while maintaining its original style. Editorial responsibilities where taken over by James and the comic was finished in August 2010. Again it was stocked by the same comic store in the city of Newcastle.
The main theme of this story was that of moving forward, though in two very different ways. Where James was doing more work in other comics and enjoying promoting the first comic, Craig was having a different journey. He split from his long term girlfriend and conveyed those feelings in very short and insightful bursts. The story ends with Craig leaving for Europe to tour with his band 'The Cavalcade' and leaving James unsure on how to proceed with issue three.
James Cornell started his first solo comic, called TRACKS, at the end of September 2010, and it was released in the first week of October. The comic was a only a short 12 pages but with new techniques learnt the comic was stepped up somewhat from the humble beginnings of 'Mutual Slump'. With a card cover and some colour pages, the comic took on a new look with the addition of photograph backgrounds in the train windows using photos by local artist Mike Barfeild. The story remains similar to a diary format with the exception of a fictional intro and outro using film parody dream/fantasy sequences.]
The comic was meant as a free zine that would be passed around. Using the Japanese word 'mawashiyomi', meaning to swap and lend comics, it features a library card style name list in the back in which readers can add their name before passing it on.