Friday, May 27, 2016

New World comics anthology

So many of the books I've posted about here are novels and children's books, but as an artist, comic books have had a profound influence on me so it's past time I included some here. Just a short while ago I received a comic anthology that is breathtakingly perfect; a comic book written and drawn by independent artists like myself, people with the passion and skill but not the luck to be in the professional industry.
Over a year and some moons ago I backed this project on Kickstarter, and in truth I'd all but forgotten about it when the emails came that they were wrapping up, then shipping. I no longer knew what to expect, but when it arrived I was impressed by the heft of a thick volume of gorgeous art. Then I read the first short story.
Then I sat for several minutes just going 'wow.'

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The video is enough to give the basic idea of the theme, but too flashy to convey the depth of thought and intelligence in the stories.

Every story involves alien elements, and some are set in the future while others need no specified time frame at all, but each and every story is also vastly different. I found myself needing to pause after each one, to absorb the profound concepts compacted into just a few pages of art and text. These are comics at their best, words and images coming together to do what one alone cannot. Some are lighter on text than others, but pack no less meaning for it.
From 'Incubation' by Ben Jelter

Most importantly, despite the heavy emphasis on alien encounters, every tale is very relatable, and very human.

Stylistically the art varies and a few of the comics just weren't as visually appealing as others, but I recognize that as a matter of personal taste. By and large, every page was wonderful.
From 'The Book House' by Jonathon Dalton

Now that the Kickstarter has ended and it's in print, the anthology is available for thirty bucks, I think, and well worth it. Several of the artists involved are peopled I've followed and admired online for years, through online galleries and other websites. The Internet, and projects like this, create a forum for amazing artists that might not otherwise get the shot they deserve at being published.
From 'Garden of Heaven' by Kory Bing & Karla Pacheco

The above image is the last page of the collection, and while there are some less than optimistic stories told in there, a hope for the future is present throughout much of this book, and it ends on a joyful note.