Incredible Indie Tuesday: World-Building, the Perils of Graphic Memoirs, & Swedish Comics

The Tomorrows 1 cover, writer curt pires, interior artist jason copeland, cover artist dylan todd, 2015

Wow, ever have one of those vacations that was so lovely it somehow makes going back to work on Monday worse instead of better and more well-rested?  Because I am so there this week, and no amounts of .gif sets of the new Civil War trailer can soothe me.  Luckily, there are a few delightful interviews to check out this week, including into the more obscure parts of the indie comics world.

Somehow The Tomorrows totally slipped my radar when it first debuted, but Curt Pires’ now has me totally sold me on its super cool high concept which features a different artist each issue including Jason Copland, Alexis Ziritt, Ian MacEwan, Andrew MacLean, and Liam Cobb.  It follows a group of guerrilla activists set in a world where art is illegal and Big Brother surveillance is omnipresent . . . which sounds right at that edge of weird brilliance that I’m intrigued by.  Pires described the titular group as “are a group of artists/terrorists who fight to liberate people and information and make reality more beautiful.”  Definitely one of the more abstract books on the stand, and I’m super excited to pick up the most recent issue and check it out.

Gutter Magic 1 cover, writer rich douek, artist brett barkley, colorist jules rivera, leterrer nic shaw, idw 2015I’m really torn on how I feel about this interview with Rich Douek, writer of the upcoming Gutter Magic which will be debuting as an on-going series in December from IDW.  On the one hand, I cannot believe a character named Cinder Byrnes made it all the way through the editing process, because, wow, that is the most dumb urban-fantasy garbage name that I’ve ever seen.  The only way that’ll be redeemable is if the rest of the Byrnes family is introduced with equally ridiculous fire-oriented first names.

On the other hand, I’m a sucker when it comes to good world building that incorporates a recognizable world with magic and stuff.  Gutter Magic is set in a world where WWII somehow introduced magic into the world with a resulting societal stratification between the magic-users and the have-nots.  Like I said, I’m not exactly 100% sold yet but it could be a really cool story.  But the premise has me interested and pleasantly reminds me of Keith Busiek’s and Carlos Pacheco’s Arrowsmith, the best modern history + magic world mashup comic ever.

Invisible Ink My Mother's Secret Love Affair with a Famous Cartoonist, creator Bill Griffith, 2015When I first saw the title for Bill Griffith’s new graphic novel, I was immediately sure that was not a book for me.  This lengthy interview between Griffiths and The Comics Journal has me singing a different tune and sticking this one on my to-read pile.  Invisible Ink: My Mother’s Secret Love Affair With a Famous Cartoonist seemed like the name of a book that exemplifies the worst in the graphic novel memoir genre, which at its schlockiest can feel as if the creator’s just mining their families’ emotional pain for the sake of a story.  Hearing Griffith describe the creation process and knowing much of the book is pulled from notes and unwritten work his mother wrote before her death makes it clear Invisible Ink is much more a thoughtful and empathetic story than the eye-rolling melodrama I’d been imagining.  The titular famous cartoonist, Lawrence Lariar, was a prolific and famous early creator whose nearly forgotten now in 2015, and the book also explores his lack of a legacy in the modern world of comics.

Junky by Guillame Singelin to be published by Peow Comics in 2016Honestly, I am woefully ill-informed about the comics industries in other countries, but reading about Sweden’s indie English-language publisher Peow was absolutely fascinating.  Peow-published works won three Ignatz at SPX this year, and it’s clear from their slate of upcoming books that they’ll be adding to the fun, colorful body of work they’ve already created.  Peow’s running a Kickstarter to fund their 2016 publishing schedule with 10 days left, so check it out!

Catie Coleman

Catie Coleman

Catie is a lawyer by day, comics fan by night (and during the lunch hour). Unsurprisingly, her idol is She-Hulk and can only wish that she could work a purple suit in the courtroom like Shulkie can. She's also into Stephanie Brown, because she has apparently an affinity for characters in purple.