I am an avid comic reader. I’d like to say I have been my whole life, but as with most things, it’s been more of a cycle. Since graduating high school, I have fallen deep into the hole that is the comics medium – both print and web. Surprising as it may be, I have never been to any comic convention prior to attending SPX (Small Press Expo). Sure, I’ve been to a couple cons here and there but never one specifically for comics. Seeing as I’m living so close to one this year, I decided to head over to Bethesda and check out the indie creators and publishing houses that attended the con, thinking I’d see a couple things I recognized, just pick up one or two zines, and maybe grab one of the Ignatz winner’s comic.
Oh boy, was I wrong. SPX, which only takes up the space of one hotel ballroom, was jam packed with amazing creators and creations, and I wanted to talk about a few of them here! Indie creators live and die by word of mouth, so if I can get even one or two more people to check out their work, I’m happy. This is part one, as I picked up a lot of zines and still have yet to read them all.
“Spectral Zone” by Kay D.
A super cool pilot comic about a town swallowed up by the earth and the veritable Scooby-gang of kids who must survive the Spectrums (ghost-zombie-computer virus things). I love the way Kay uses color in her comics and her characters are always so dynamic and fun. I’d direct you to her store, but it’s currently down, which makes getting a copy of Spectral Zone difficult at the moment. However, her webcomic, Oddity Woods, isn’t bound by physical limitations. If mystery, adventure, and spooky woods are your cup of tea, check it out. And even if it’s not, check it out anyway. You may find something you like (@cygullls).
“Waves” by Rebecca Kirby
A trippy zine about a woman imagining the world and the people in it while she waits in line at the grocery store. Kirby’s art isn’t for everyone, but man, is it right in my wheelhouse. She creates fluid, amorphous shapes that are cool to look at, making it feel like the world itself isn’t bound to any solid visuals (@reweki).
“Spinning” by Tillie Walden
The final comic I’m highlighting today is actually a graphic novel, a term which is a bit more complicated than it should be. It has a publisher (First Second comics) and is stunningly gorgeous. Billed as a graphic memoir, it’s all about the author and her love of figure skating. I haven’t finished it yet, but if you can get a copy, read it. If not, then check out her webcomic On a Sunbeam. It’s freaking beautiful, not to mention interesting and heartbreaking. It’s good sci-fi and just plain good storytelling. It’s been completed, so if you’re worried about the webcomic update crawl, problem solved (@tilliewalden).
The world of comics is weird and wonderful and I hope that I can share some more with you in the future. I’ve got lots more crazy stuff to talk about (like Mary Shelley’s Franken Berry). But seriously, check out these people (I included their twitter handles for a reason) and their work. You never know what you’ll find unless you go out looking.