So, I've been away from the blog again for another extended period, though a mere month this time, due to various "real world" circumstances, among them the remodeling of my apartment which had me staying with my sister for a few days. This has only increased the backlog of stuff that I want to write about, as during this latest down period has occurred the Small Press and Alternative Comics Expo (SPACE), and Free Comic Book Day, not to mention that DC, Marvel and other publishers have continued to put out new comics during this time.
I am not even going to pretend to attempt any sort of objective review of A Bowl Full of Happiness, an anthology of comics and pin-ups about Sea Monkeys published by Columbus cartoonists group Sunday Comix and benefitting the Hero Initiative in their efforts to provide assistance to comics creators in need. After all, I am a founding member of Sunday Comix and I have worked with the Hero Initiative before, and, of course, I have a piece in this book, as do several of my closest friends and, most importantly, my niece Tamara Marshall, which is the reason I cannot be objective about this book. This is a great book for a very good cause, and if you didn't get your copy at the show, I recommend that you do so as soon as possible. Hopefully, by the time I get this post, editor Canada Keck will have updated the web-site to allow you to order your own copy. If not, shoot me an e-mail and I'll arrange to get you a copy.
Speaking of my closest friends, I got my copy of Matt Wyatt's Joking Victim #0 well before SPACE, and you can pick a copy at various locations around Columbus, including What The Rock, Kafe Kerouac and the Laughing Ogre, or order a copy through Matt's web-site. He will also be appearing at Ratha Con in Athens, Ohio this coming weekend. Once again throwing objectivity to the wind, I highly recommend that you do so. Featuring a variety of comics and cartoons by Matt, Joking Victim is loaded with parody, satire, silliness, wordplay and puns, and a heaping dose of what MAD artist Will Elder termed "chicken fat", little throwaway visual gags in the background. The mention of MAD is apt, because this book is very reminiscent of early MAD, when it was a comic book and reflected the sensibility of one man, Harvey Kurtzman.
Another comic to which I personally contributed (That's an excerpt from my contribution down there in the lower left corner of the cover.) is the SPACE Anthology 2012, a full color trade paperback collection featuring work from many of the artists who were present at the show this year. This is the third year, I believe, that there's been a SPACE Anthology, though in the past it has been available only as a pdf download on-line. This is the first year that the collection has been available in physical book form, with proceeds from sales at the show going to fund the SPACE Prize, recognizing excellence in small press publishing. You can download a copy of the anthology here, or go here to get a print copy.
Small press veteran J. Kevin Carrier did not have a table at the show, however he was present on Saturday carrying copies of the latest issue of his long running anthology Fantasy Theater, a showcase for his extensive reportoire of comics characters. FT #22 features brand new adventures of Kevin's futuristic sword and sorcery warrior Glorianna and second generation super hero Cappella. You should be able to order a copy at Kevin's blog.
I'll close out this post by mentioning Suzanne Baumann's As Eavesdropped Volume Three, in which Suzanne illustrates in her charming and simple style dialogue that, I assume from the title of the book, she has actually overheard. This comic is free, and, I assume, available at her web-site, along with all her other great comics.
That covers the comics from me and my friends. I did actually get out in the room and talk to some people whose work I wasn't previously familiar with and who weren't among my closest friends and associates, and I'll be looking at the comics I got from them soon.