For The Record I Know This is a Bad Idea

More wonderful, grotesque absurdity from Eroyn Franklin. Franklin’s crisp lines perfectly counterpoint the oft-obscured horror of everyday life.

Eroyn’s Website

(32 interior pages, 5.5″ x 5.5″, black and white, self-published)

Making Tide
Dear Dear
Another Glorious Day at the Nothing Factory
Just Noise
Sorry Sheets
The Here
Vantage

Small Noises #3

A collection of sketches and stories from Sarah Glidden. Reflections on Israel, books, Seattle and the environment. Glidden’s work is intimate, funny and thought-provoking as always. From 2007.

Sarah’s Website

(36 interior pages, 5.5″ x 8.5″, black and white, self-published)

Yeah, It Is!

A story of a teenage girl that resonates with familiarity – missing her best friend, getting irritated with new friends, going to the coffee shop – rendered in rich brown and black paper cut-outs. Yeah, It Is! was awarded a Xeric Grant in 2003.

Leslie’s Website

(48 interior pages, 5.5″ x 8″, full color throughout, self-published)

Eye of the Majestic Creature #1
Eye of the Majestic Creature #2

Buzz #3

A collection of Corinne Mucha’s hilarious and touching oddball comics. “Stories of superpowers, smiling sloths, inferior aliens and clocks that stretch time.” (From the cover)

Corinne’s Website

(20 interior pages, 5.5″ x 8.5″, B&W with screenprinted cover, self-published)

Big Plans Collection

Finally, Big Plans has been collected! This book contains Big Plans One through Five, plus some extras. It is a great funny read and Aron’s art is as ever, distinctive, lovely and cute.

Aron’s Website

(360 interior pages, 5.5″ x 7″, B&W with color cover, Bridge City Comics)

Steinke’s work has a heartfelt touch that makes what could have been a collection of mundane stories a hilarious and endearing triumph… Entertaining to read over and over again.” Graphic Novel Reporter

“…Get acquainted with one of the best young underground cartoonists on the scene.” The Onion’s A.V. Club

“…Sometimes there is a six panel grid, sometimes four panels per spread, sometimes the spread is one big panel. All are smooth transitions. Aron is someone who is very, very comfortable with the way that he sets up his “reveals” and his punchlines and gags. This is excellent cartooning. Excellent cartooning that is well written.” Frank Santoro, The Comics Journal

Big Plans #2
Big Plans #3
Big Plans #4
Big Plans #5
Neptune

Jade, Volume 1

Jade‘s plot, while simple, is something anyone can identify with: a young woman escapes work and the city to spend some time at the coast with her dog. Avocado’s heavy brush work and eye for detail and realism bring it all to life.  Every tear of frustration and every spine of a starfish are lovingly and arduously captured.  If you’ve never been to the Oregon coast, this is a good substitute.

Fiona’s Website

(36 interior pages, 8″ x 10″, B&W with silk-screened color cover, self-published)

 

Vortex #2

Welcome to the psychedelic space fantasy cosmos of the Hyperverse, a realm filled with immensely powerful beings who battle over worlds with strange geologies and hoard advanced technologies left by ancient starfarers.  The Miizzzard has defeated his mysterious foe on an uncharted planet…or has he?!  Check out this installment of Vortex to find out.

William’s Website

(36 interior pages, 7″ x 10″, black and white, The Gold County Paper Mill)

I’ve enjoyed Cardini’s development as an artist and the refinement of his heavily Mat Brinkman-influenced style. Cardini works big in this sci-fi/fantasy battle comic, but more interestingly, he uses a deliberately artificial-looking style of line. You can see the dots and pixels on the page, giving the whole thing a cold and digital quality that is trying to separate the reader from Brinkman’s warm, organic and oozing imagery. That slight distance and primitiveness of the line quality (as opposed to the drawings themselves) adds a certain extra comical layer to a story that involves a wizard quite graphically and viscerally biting off the arm of a monster. The whole thing has a light-hearted feel, much like the rest of Cardini’s work, odd as it may appear on the surface. Working bigger certainly suits him, and I enjoyed looking at the images as images.” Rob Clough, High-Low

Vortex #1
Vortex #3
Vortex #4

The Golem of Gabirol

A gorgeous tale from Olga Volozova, based on the legends of poet and scholar Solomon Ibn Gabirol. Crowded pages filled with breathlessly light linework and a touching, dreamlike narrative.

Olga’s Website

“This is a comic rendition of 11th century Moorish Spain-based poet, scholar, kabbalist Ibn Gabriol’s Legends Around the Name. The comic is grayscale illustrated with pen and ink, with washes creating watercolor gradients over busy, detailed, scribbly drawings with bold and slight lines. The story is a weird one, but has that heaviness of meaning that old texts like this usually have. The story is about a poet and scholar who creates people from puppets and magic. There is a love story intertwined, a tragic ending and mysterious behavior all told through the main female character trapped in a marriage. I loved this, mostly because it reminds me of old Persian stories (no surprise) and some of the strange and alluring fairytales that we all grew up with as kids, those that could be told to children, but have meanings that only adults can understand. Scary, but cool. Great artistic rendition of a cool story.” Mariam Bastani, Maximum Rocknroll

(32 interior pages, 5.75″ x 8.75″, B&W with color cover, Sparkplug Books)

The Airy Tales
Rock That Never Sleeps

Reich #9

Reich is a biographical account of psychoanalyst and sex researcher Dr. Wilhelm Reich, a protégé of Freud. He courted scandal throughout Europe where he became known mostly for his controversial and radical ideas. Reich claimed to discover a palpable sexual energy, which he called “Orgone.”

In the ninth chapter of this fascinating semi-true biography, Reich’s lab and equipment face the scrutiny of the feds, aiming to shut down what they consider perversion.

Elijah’s Website

Here’s hoping you’re all reading along and giving this guy as much money as possible; he’s one of the many artists out there who should have complete freedom to do whatever the hell he feels like.” Optical Sloth

Cartoonist and illustrator Elijah Brubaker has really started to get critics’ attention with his current comic book project Reich, from Sparkplug Comics: a fictionalized account of the notorious life of psychoanalyst Wilhelm Reich, who was persecuted throughout his professional life for his theories on human sexuality. Through a long-time fascination and exhaustive research, Brubaker has crafted an absorbing portrait of a tortured and ambitious man, and he hasn’t even gotten to the part about aliens yet!” David Paggi, Wizard Universe

(24 interior pgs, 6″ x 9″, color cover with black and white interiors, Sparkplug Books)

Reich #1
Reich #2
Reich #3
Reich #4
Reich #5
Reich #6
Reich #7
Reich #8
Reich #10

Wet Paint #2

A collection of art and comics, curated by the inimitable Jason T. Miles. Includes work by Adam Grano, Chris Cilla, Jeremy Eaton, Josh Simmons, Marianne Goldin and Max Clotfelter. Mature audiences.

Jason’s Website

(28 interior pages, 8.5″ x 11″, black & white, Profanity Hill)

The Lobster King, Part One

Hilarious, absurd and mysterious…why is the Lobster King the King of Lobsters? Bessijelle’s art is lively; jumbling elements of folk art, cubism, surrealism and 19th century daguerreotypes.

Clara’s Website

(12 interior pages, 8.5″ x 11″, black & white, self-published)

Daily Comics Volume 5

Chelsea writes and draws about her life in Olympia with an eye for detail and whimsy. This zine covers January through June 2011.

Chelsea’s Website

(92 interior pages, 5.5″ x 8.5″, black & white, self-published)

Daily Comics Volume 6

Daily Comics Volume 6

Chelsea writes and draws about her life in Olympia with an eye for detail and whimsy. This zine covers July through December 2011.

Chelsea’s Website

(92 interior pages, 5.5″ x 8.5″, black & white, self-published)

Daily Comics Volume 5

The Natural World #4

The fourth issue of The Natural World starts with some beautiful illustrations of the forest and leads into a confrontation between the mysterious savage and Walter!

Damien’s Website

I can’t think of a better cartoonist than Jay who has yet to have his work picked up by a publisher. His line is loose and lively, his character design clever (with a touch of the grotesque) and his wit is fanciful and touches on the absurd. This is a fantasy series that’s as much about the grime of the medieval era as it is about its superstitions (and possibly magic). There’s a wonderfully grimy, visceral quality to Jay’s cartooning that provides an amusing contrast to the more surreal or fanciful aspects of his story.” Rob Clough, The Comics Journal

(28 interior pages, 5.5″ x 8.5″, B&W with screenprinted cover, self-published)

The Natural World #1
The Natural World #2
The Natural World #3
Pocket Party #1
Papercutter #10

The Natural World #3

The third issue of Damien Jay’s medieval-era comic. Walter encounters a strange tree creature while sneaking around the woods.

Damien’s Website

I can’t think of a better cartoonist than Jay who has yet to have his work picked up by a publisher. His line is loose and lively, his character design clever (with a touch of the grotesque) and his wit is fanciful and touches on the absurd. This is a fantasy series that’s as much about the grime of the medieval era as it is about its superstitions (and possibly magic). There’s a wonderfully grimy, visceral quality to Jay’s cartooning that provides an amusing contrast to the more surreal or fanciful aspects of his story.” Rob Clough, The Comics Journal

(32 interior pages, 5.5″ x 8.5″, B&W with screenprinted cover, self-published)

The Natural World #1
The Natural World #2
The Natural World #4
Pocket Party #1
Papercutter #10

The Natural World #1

The first issue of Damien Jay’s compelling medieval era series. A mushroom collector flees a mysterious, possibly fictitious monster in the woods while his witch-finding brother engages in some holier-than-thou hypocrisy.

Damien’s Website

I can’t think of a better cartoonist than Jay who has yet to have his work picked up by a publisher. His line is loose and lively, his character design clever (with a touch of the grotesque) and his wit is fanciful and touches on the absurd. This is a fantasy series that’s as much about the grime of the medieval era as it is about its superstitions (and possibly magic). There’s a wonderfully grimy, visceral quality to Jay’s cartooning that provides an amusing contrast to the more surreal or fanciful aspects of his story.” Rob Clough, The Comics Journal

(28 interior pages, 5.5″ x 8.5″, B&W with screenprinted cover, self-published)

The Natural World #2
The Natural World #3
The Natural World #4
Pocket Party #1
Papercutter #10

You Don’t Get There From Here #22

Carrie’s three panel daily diary strips from November 2011 to February 2012. Carrie deals with her own aging as well as her parents and works on a comic about her teenage years. Chu-hi and Milo the cats co-star!

(32 interior pages, 4″ x 5.5 “, black and white, self-published)

I Want Everything To Be Okay
You Don’t Get There From Here #1
You Don’t Get There From Here #2
You Don’t Get There From Here #3
You Don’t Get There From Here #4
You Don’t Get There From Here #5
You Don’t Get There From Here #6
You Don’t Get There From Here #7
You Don’t Get There From Here #8
You Don’t Get There From Here #9
You Don’t Get There From Here Goes to Oaxaca
You Don’t Get There From Here #10
You Don’t Get There From Here #11
You Don’t Get There From Here #12
You Don’t Get There From Here #13
You Don’t Get There From Here #14
You Don’t Get There From Here #15
You Don’t Get There From Here #16
You Don’t Get There From Here #17
You Don’t Get There From Here #18
You Don’t Get There From Here #19
You Don’t Get There From Here #20
You Don’t Get There From Here #21
You Don’t Get There From Here #23
You Don’t Get There From Here #24
You Don’t Get There From Here #25
You Don’t Get There From Here #26

Frankenstein Now And Forever

Two young women find a copy of Frankenstein in the street and decide to keep it. After reading, they ruminate over the story’s meaning and how it applies to their lives. Baladi’s lines are heavy and expressive.

(96 interior pages, 6.5″ x 9.5″, B&W with color cover, Typocrat)

The Ticking

The strange, absorbing story of Edison Steelhead. French’s art is minimalist, rendered in delicate pencils, achingly beautiful and disturbing.

Renée’s Website

(216 interior pages, 6″ x 8″, black and white, Top Shelf)

Renee French has finely balanced the horrific nature of her story and characters with the warm caress of a loving parent. The Ticking is a book that won’t stop after the last page has been turned.” Neil Figuracion, Broken Frontier

Fox Bunny Funny

A wordless novel about an adolescent fox with a different view of his world and its cruelties.

Andy’s Website

(104 interior pages, 6″ x 8″, B&W with color cover, Top Shelf)

In my readings of this book I’ve been pleasantly surprised at the topics it touches on. There are the obvious themes of conformity. It also works on other scales as metaphors for freedom of individual expression, alienation, assimilation, separatism, bigotry, religion and faith, the nature of the outsider, cultural roles of the victor and victim. That’s quite an accomplishment for a story that doesn’t contain a single word. Oh, I hadn’t mentioned that. Yes, Hartzell made the choice to let his drawings convey the plot and emotion.Gay League

But what is here is quite good – it’s very emotionally involving, and the story is quite easy to follow, even without words. (And there is a story, unlike some wordless strips – there’s a definite plot, and more characterization than I’d expect without dialogue.) The story itself is somewhat conventional – it has a moral familiar from every third modern animated movie – but it’s told well, and doing it all in pantomime makes it fresher and more new.
The art is also very impressive – Hartzell has a good sense of gesture and body language, and his foxes are an inky black that he uses to good effect. He sticks to a six-panel grid most of the time, but breaks out of that for some impressive effects at the end
.” Andrew Wheeler, ComicMix