The Tale of Tabatha

Tabatha, in one word is delicious. The dialogues are tantalizing. the artwork is impressive and it is about mailmans.

Mailmen, for the longest time, have been the people who have been chased by dogs, been harassed by their bosses and delivered envelopes and packages of joy. While some tales about the mailman remain the same, some definitely change.

In Tabatha, we meet Luke. A mailman in Los Angeles who uses his mail route to see who is not collecting their post. And when he realizes that no one is home, he comes back at night to rob them. And though beginner’s luck shines on him initially, one goes horribly wrong and that’s where the story starts.

UK-based T-Pub, an independent comic publishing house had previously won our hearts with their collection of spooky tales, Twisted Dark. And while Tabatha had looked intriguing back then, it had completely slipped our minds till we caught up with Neil Gibson recently!

And it is no secret how wonderfully twisted Gibson’s imagination can get. Fascinated by the idea of real dolls and some people’s ability to form strong emotional attachments with inanimate objects, Gibson set out to explore this idea. “We’ve all seen cat ladies or dog men or people who obsess about horses and value them more than they do human life, and most people find them slightly odd. But having a relationship with something that is not even real is another level,” begins Gibson. “I had the concept and on the train ride to a comic book award ceremony Caspar and I thrashed out the whole story in rough,” smiles Gibson. “And oh! Though we were shortlisted but didn’t win that award,” he adds.

Working in collaboration with illustrator Casper Wijngaard, the artwork of Tabatha might not come across as typically gorgeous to most. But what most people miss out on while complaining about the lack of detail in most parts is the fact that Wijngaard’s artwork allows you to focus on faces, events and emotions. It does not allow you to be overwhelmed or intimidated. It just makes you realize what an important role good writing plays in a comic. “Caspar is my favourite illustrator in the world,” grins Gibson. “He understands what I am trying to say and builds on it with a keen logical mind and loads of character idiosyncrasies.” And considering how clean and crisp the book is, we are pretty convinced that we want to see more by this duo! And Gibson adds some more: “Working with someone like Caspar makes the storytelling and humour much stronger.”

Though T-Pub has some great stories to share, life for an independent publisher is not easy anywhere. In addition to challenges faced in the fields of publicity and marketing, they also need to compete with some of the biggest players in the market. “We overcome them by just producing the best work we can,” says Gibson. “The fact that people from different parts of the world like our work, makes me believe that no matter your size, as long as you put out good material, people will buy your work and spread the news about you.”

Twisted Dark Volumes 5 and 6 is what fans should be expecting this year. Apart from that, Twisted  SciFi will also be released by the end of this year. And for those who have loved Calvin and Hobbes, T-Pub has something in store for them as well- The world of Chub Chub! Based on Gibson’s childhood, the story is about an Indian lady raising a kid in the middle East.

And while you wait for more T-Pub releases, it always is a good idea to check out a free sample of Tortured Life, the life and times of a man who develops the ability to see how people are going to die, right here!