All At Sea: Should Your Kids Be Reading ‘Tamsin and The Deep’?
It’s Kids’ Week at ComicsAlliance! As the summer draws to a close and young comics fans get ready to go back to school, we’re presenting a week of articles focused on great kids’ comics, including comics recommendations for younger readers. Hey! Kids’ comics!
WHAT’S IT ABOUT?
Tamsin, a young girl from Cornwall, England, which is as well known for its magic and history as it is for its modern day surfing beaches. In Tamsin and The Deep, the two collide, as an accident at sea brings Tamsin face to face with some of the myths and legends that still survive in the misty moors of the county.
WHO’S IT BY?
Neill Cameron writes, and you may know him from some other projects we’ve featured on ComicsAlliance, including Mega Robo Bros and Pirates of Pangaea. He also once drew a cross between Dazzler and a bunny rabbit, which is by-the-by, but an important fact you should be made aware of.
He’s joined by the wonder that is Kate Brown, a fantastic artist who is best known for her contributions to Young Avengers and The Wicked and The Divine, as well as some of her own projects like Chocolate + Fish. They’re both rising superstars.
WHAT MAKES IT SPECIAL?
Well I did just tell you that the creative team are flippin’ Neill Cameron and Kate Brown, so immediately after reading that I hope you nipped over to get your orders in. But what really makes this stand out, aside from the woozy, wonderful artwork and smart narrative style? It’s the tone.
This feels like such a step away from the sort of stories that are collected elsewhere in children’s magazines like The Phoenix or at American children's publishers. It straddles this fascinating gap between comics for an all-ages audience and slightly more mature, sinister stories that you might find at, say, FirstSecond.
In a review for WomenWriteAboutComics, Claire Napier describes the series as a "ballet" comic, and that’s a perfect encapsulation of how poised, considered, and ultimately painful this story can be. Everything is balanced on a single point --- and that point comes under huge, graceful, torturous pressure as time goes on.
WHO SHOULD READ IT?
It’s absolutely and perfectly for children. Tamsin and The Deep can head into troubling waters, but the creative team frames things in such a way that it’s never too scary, and so that the feistiness of the heroine takes precedence as often as possible. Tamsin herself is a joy, blurring the lines between the real and the mystical with an effervescent likeability that will draw your kids --- and you --- right into the water with her.
WHERE CAN I READ IT?
The series is published in instalments in The Phoenix, an all-ages comics magazine that's published every week in the UK and available digitally internationally. The first collected volume is currently available, and the second volume recently wrapped up in the magazine and should be collected soon. The books can be bought via digital retail, including The Phoenix’s own online store.