In the desolate wasteland of the Fens, where the darkness of Eastern England meets the cold North Sea, the last remaining Eelman travels in a wonky van, hunting the juicy eels of the Fen’s waterways
The Eelman Chronicles are Chris Spalton’s entirely true stories of his father’s journeys as an Eelman, and the strange adventures he has along the way; meeting celebrities and royals, saving dogs, and witnessing crimes.
Hand drawn and lettered, these short comics are simplistic but filled with character and humour. Less than six pages long, panels are accompanied by a short text description which carries the weight of the story telling.
These are stories about dads, and the strange lives they lead. Men who always seemed to have been grown-ups, and whose mastery of their own world we could never hope to replicate. Spalt the Eelman is continually beset by unexpected events, but his sweet natured confidence in the acceptance of others and his desire to just do the right thing is the driving force behind these adventures. Chris Spalton paints an honest picture of his family’s flaws, but without ever making fun of them. You’ll walk away wanting to know more, feeling nothing but affection for these people.
The Eelman Chronicles indie comics plays out like a series of half remembered anecdotes, retelling the stories you were told as a child, but aren’t entirely sure are true…and yet, they’re packed with facts and commentary. These short comics are filled with joy and wit, even when hinting at darker episodes. The adventures begin with the Eelman’s tangential involvement in the sad, true life crime that will be familiar to lots of British readers. Despite the origin, just a few light-hearted panels squeeze in comedic references to short-lived fame, to well meaning racism and America’s gun problem, to populist politics, football chants, and the rise of violence in rural England…all with a massive smile on it’s charming face.
We challenge you to not fall in love with The Eelman Chronicles. It’s a comic that will make you wonder about your own parents, and about the weird things that happened to them before you came along.
There are currently five short adventures, all of which are available for free from gumroad.com/cspalton. You can also support the artist by purchasing a lovely Eelman t-shirt from Threadless – which you should absolutely do. It won’t be long before all the cool kids are wearing them.