Wednesday Adventures 12th June

comic, Comic spotlight, First Impressions, Uncategorized

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A brief weekly rundown of recommendations of new releases I’m intrigued by, excited for and will be grabbing off the shelves to curl up with every new comics day before delving into them later in the week!

Have you hugged your local comic store owner today?

 

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Silver Surfer Black 1- Marvel Comics

The last, big run on the sentinel of the spaceways was an absolute delight. From the start Slott and the Allred’s acknowledged it’s debt to Doctor Who,citing it as an influence for the series and very quickly it became apparent that it was the guy with the silver surfboard who was giving us the weirdest, most spectacular and quirky sci-fi adventures, rather then the chap with the blue box. It really cemented them as maybe my favourite recent team to work on the character, that is until this week and the release of Silver Surfer black with the talents of super star writer and artist team of Donny Cates and Tradd Moore.

Cates has been quietly writing his way around the entire encyclopedia of the best Marvel characters as well as penning some new creations with Cosmic Ghost Rider and demonstrates a firm grasp on seemingly all of them to this point,leaving me eager to see what his has in mind as the “silver surfer fights for his soul” and returning the character to his more introspective roots after Slott took him on adventures flights of fancy. Moore is the perfect artist to play around with the already weird and wonderful cosmic corners of Marvel, and anyone who enjoyed his work on Ghost Rider and the deeply idiosyncratic and kinetic look he gave to Robbie’s world should check out this series.

 

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Friendly Neighbourhood Spider-Man 6- Marvel Comics

If both the comics and movie versions proved anything, there can never be enough Spider-men,but with Miles Morales now also residing in the Marvel Universe proper, is Spider-byte one webhead too far? Nah!

Even with so many about the writers have excelled in giving them their own distinct personality and tone of stories around them from Silk to Superior to Gwen and while a younger version of Spidey was last seen kicking around an alternate universe with his Uncle Ben during Spider-Geddon,Marvel have been unusually tight lipped about the secret identity of this ensy weensy Spider leaving fans of the web-head theorising and speculating on another Spider character in the Marvel Universe. Tom Taylor and Juann Cabal have been giving us a much more down to Earth Spider-Man returning to his roots as a local hero which should be perfect to explore his relationship to a new member of the Spider family rather then a splashy punch ’em team up. Although, that would be nice too if they can swing it!

 

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The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl 45- Marvel Comics

Ratatoskr is back! As the War of the realms rages across marvel entire line, the squirrel girl team have found themselves with an easy slam dunk, returning to arguably one of the runs best villains and the most organic feeling tie in to the Asgard themed event with the Norse chaos squirrel teaming up with Doreen against the Asgardian hordes.

While I tend to lean towards newer comics or ones still early in their runs in Wednesday Adventures,I’m keenly aware that this weeks 45th issue puts us only five issues away from the end of this hilarious and downright touching series. Squirrel girl has established her appeal as more than just an obscure fan favourite now turning up alongside Ms Marvel in the recent Marvel series and has carved out a unique niche among the rest of the heroes as throughout North’s tenure she has sought to get out of situations through dialogue and compassion. While it’s obviously to stop every story ending with Doreen just punching out the bad guy, it really helped to make her adventures stand out among her more well known peers. Here’s to the last five issues to come!

 

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Wednesday Adventures 17th April

comic, Comic spotlight, First Impressions

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A brief weekly rundown of recommendations of new releases I’m intrigued by, excited for and will be grabbing off the shelves to curl up with every new comics day before delving into them later in the week!

Have you hugged your local comic store owner today?

 

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Little Bird 2- Image Comics

It’s starting to sink in that the next issue of Saga could be anywhere up to two years away, and while you put on a brave face and bunker down, Little Bird is here to help soften the blow a little with gorgeous storytelling and cinematic visuals.

Taking place in a dystopian future, Little Bird follows a young resistance fighter struggling against the forces of the Oppressive American Empire. Even in it’s first issue this book felt like it had a creative team perfect in step with other. It’s writer Darcy Van Poelgeest was, unsurprisingly a movie director before his jump to comics and alongside artwork from Ian Bertram, this comic has the feel of a lush, visually striking movie playing out on the printed page. Like Saga before it, Little Bird doesn’t appear at all interested in fitting into any neat and tidy categories just yet, combining sci-fi and mysticism in a unique, textured and often blood soaked world that is tearing itself apart.

 

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NextGen3- Marvel Comics

An exceedingly guilty pleasure that I’ve been rationalising every Wednesday for a week, The Age of X-Men has been solidly entertaining and fun. While it doesn’t quite hit the dramatic heights of War of the Realms is breaking into as we speak, NextGen in particular makes up for this with intriguing character development, making the best of it’s drama filled high school setting with Glob,who beyond the riot at Xavier;s has shied away from conflict being unceremoniously dropped right onto the front lines of the action and finds himself at odds with his own kind.

Old Woman Laura first showed us a refreshing change of scene, settling for a seeming Utopia and Age of X-Man carries on the idea of a broken,mutant anti-utopia which gives a welcome break from the noisy apocalyptic trappings to be had in stories like Age of Apocalypse and proves far more creepy and insidious. Even in this seemingly perfect Utopia that X-Man has created for his mutant kindred, they can’t help but be drawn back into conflict and relationship, resisting the gentle control and gravitating back to their core beliefs. The reptilian Student Anole being close to his unspoken “third strike” as he keep’s getting mindwipped but falling back into the same cycle of rebellion and revolution as he seeks out the underground over and over again, searching for a larger truth to this world.

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The Magnificent Ms Marvel 2- Marvel Comics

As if any proof of her popularity and impact on the Marvel Universe over the last few years, the young New Jersey hero has even succeed in making the company add a new adjective into the rotation of their titles. Kamala Khan isn’t infamous, spectacular or sensational, she’s Magnificent as the returns in this new series helmed by Exiles scribe and Eisner Award-winning writer Saladin Ahmed with art from relative newcomer Minkyu Jung who has been building up quite the reputation and fans over at DC with the Batgirl and Nightwing titles.

Out of all her incredible superpowers, longevity is perhaps her strongest and as with Spider-Gwen is forging ahead with a new creative team. Ahmed’s work on the sadly short lived Exiles run demonstrated he knew his way around both exciting action, characterisation and deeply touching character moments all evident once again in last months first issue. Still a must read title!

Wednesday Adventures 3rd April

Comic spotlight, First Impressions, Uncategorized

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A brief weekly rundown of recommendations of new releases I’m intrigued by, excited for and will be grabbing off the shelves to curl up with every new comics day before delving into them later in the week!

Have you hugged your local comic store owner today?

 

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Giant Days 49- Boom Studios

Five years,fifty issues and Allison’s Giant Days is still one of the funniest,laugh out loud comics on the stands. Entering their final year of University, Esther,Daisy and Susan are still as sharply written as ever as they tackle new challenges and changes to their lives and friendships. Issue 49 has Esther finally trying to finish her dissertation “The Liminal Spaces Of The Great American Novel 1959-1980” and finds herself struggling before returning to her own run down home town for some inspiration.

 

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Spider-Gwen: Ghost-Spider 7- Marvel Comics

Sometimes a character becomes so entwined with a creative team it’s difficult to imagine them being handled by anyone else. None so more than Spider-Gwen with it’s creators Jason Latour‎ and Robbi Rodriguez who brought her into the pages of Marvel in such a stunning and affectingly simple way that branded them both onto their initial run that even the recent ‘Into the Spiderverse’ movie drew very heavily from the pair in both character and visual look, choosing to have her gracefully dive into the streets of the vibrant streets of her big apple,straight from the page.

So it’s been a weird ride seeing her guided through her adventures by someone new,namely artist Takeshi Miyazawa and writer Seanan Mcguire given the unenviable task of taking Gwen in a new direction. I’m pleased to say they pull this off and Gwen’s title still remains one of the most thrilling on the shelves.

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War of the Realms 1- Marvel Comics

The next big event starts here! Nothing will ever be the same again! Yadda yaddda, you know the drill. Sarcasm aside I personally love a huge line wide sprawling event and I can think of no one better to pen such an Thor flavoured crossover than Jason Aaron and Russell Dauterman who have been killing it on the Asgardian side of things for around five years now taking the entire cast of characters on wild and unexpected adventures.

As Malekith the Accursed and his forces invade Midgard it’s up to the heroes to do what they do best,band together and fight him the best they can which from tantalizing previews will include some intriguing team ups (She-Hulk, the Punisher, Blade and Ghost Rider anyone?) the usual powered up all out slugfest as well as some war like espionage with another set of seemingly mismatched heroes.

 

“You’re all just saying words. Idiot words”- Max Dlabick’s queer webcomic André and Karl

anthro, anthropomorphic, artist spotlight, comic, Comic spotlight, Uncategorized, wbcomic

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This is a song with the same four chords
I use most of the time
When I’ve got something on my mind
And I don’t want to squander the moment
Trying to come up with a better way
To say what I want to say

John Darnielle

Max Dlabick (pronounced duh-lay-bick as his website helpfully points out! )is the self described “queer, trans” artists behind the frenetic slice of life web comic loonacy that is Andre and Karl. Centred around the eponymous pair, a musician and artist respectively along with their friends including budding actress and Andre’s partner Kim, musician Jack and the unemployed fancy rat Clinton among others,Following their day today exploits in life, work, love and the pairs constantly un-named and re-named band.

Max’s creation is a webcomic that has a rough and ready, DIY zine aesthetic that perfectly compliments it’s subject matter,giving more a strong sense of capturing a time and place,more concerned with  locking a sense of place, person or feeling onto the pager rather than technical accuracy, which his gorgeous illustration work is the lush polar opposite of! Immediacy is key here and they have a fevered, frantic “this literally just happened!” feel to them that gives them a sense of urgency.

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Early strips are super sketchy and a little more in your face and snarky, but quite early in it feels like Max discovered a strong and confident voice with the later strips gradually starting to show off the introspection and self questioning lives of the characters that has become the strongest part of a comic with queer identity baked right into it’s core. As they grown and develop the comic hits it’s stride with Max seemingly more comfortable talking about the subjects he want’s to address or explore, such sexuality or gender identity. The latter shown through our lead feline Andre finding it difficult to understand himself often with the exasperated sigh of “gender stuff”.

These strips are self deprecating funny and unafraid to poke some light mocking in the direction of his characters and just how complicated it can be not just navigating the world today, but yourself. Raw, rough and very funny Karl and Andre is a perfect snapshot of a group of friends each trying to find themselves, and connecting with those around them.

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Max’s artwork lives over at his personal art site while Andre and Karl can be read here and supported over at Patreon.

 

 

“We are running from the void,straight into the void” Nihalism straight from the mouths of Aiden GD Moore’s darkly laconic lagomorphs

anthro, anthropomorphic, artist spotlight, comic, Comic spotlight, Uncategorized

bunniesEvents such as Thought Bubble are by far perfect occasion to discover new art,comics and creators in person and break out of the twitter and online gallery bubble, so once again this year I was again scouting around the numerous marquees for interesting and new books and comics, admittedly with maybe an eye extra open for something anthropomorphic! This year was another spectacular convention and it didn’t disappoint in terms of discovering talent that was new, to me at least. One that stood out and fit the bill very neatly thank you, was a book entitled Nihilistic Bunnies and it’s creator Aiden G Moore who in a flash of cross marketing/cosplay genius was dressed head to toe in a sparkly, queer rabbit getup.

As I said, it’s new to my eyes at least with Aiden actually releasing the book sometime last year and I’m surprised I’d not heard of it before. He presents a beautifully produced gallery of cutely sketched rabbits all being suitably adorable, each one oddly juxtaposed with some dark and well, Nihilistic phrases that tickled that skewered, pitch black part of my brain. They all illicit a wry, sadistic chuckle from the downbeat world view they espouse, with the most optimistic being “but carrots still taste good” in reply to another bunny declaring “life is meaningless”.

bunny2   Moore has also used anthropomorphic characters in his comics work with the completely wordless Occult Trash Raccoons, a short comic in which Raccoons turn to the dark arts and proficiency in arcane magical rituals in order to get their paws on trash that in a dozen or so pages crosses from cutesy animal shenanigans to full on occult nightmare fuel. Aiden also returns to rabbits, representing himself as a bunny again in two slice of life comics, Ode to Customer Service, which collects his account and others of working in the treacherous and often thankless world of retail, detailing the funny, saddening and rude customers that come along with the territory. Bunny Book, an autobiographical work previously published in Boston Comics Roundtable ‘Being True this year and also exhibited at the ‘Inside Job’ exhibition at the Tate Modern delves into gender presentation and recounts his experiences of expressing himself as a feminine trans male. a4-page2a4-page1 Working across a slew of other mediums as well as comics I’d recommend their work for anyone with a penchant for anything spooky, cute or occult!

You can find more of Aiden’s work over at aidengdmoore.com or support him on Patreon.

Wednesday Adventures 11th April

comic, Comic spotlight

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A brief weekly rundown of recommendations of new releases I’m intrigued by, excited for and will be grabbing off the shelves to curl up with every new comics day before delving into them later in the week! Have you hugged your comics store owner today?

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Exiles 1- Marvel Comics

I hope the image book below make up for choosing this in the face of my complaints about Marvels up and coming re-blandening exercise as an event, “Fresh Start”. Barely any of the titles stand out to me. I hadn’t intended to pick any up. I know, What can I say? It’s the X-Men. Everyone has their pull list weak spots and wouldn’t you know it, X-Men is mine. Look, a book about misunderstood misfits will always,always have a space on my shelf and there is none more misfit then the Exiles. Plucked from all manner of mismatching alternate realities to fix the multiverse it was a comic with a delightfully silly mixture of beloved series’ Quantum leap and Sliders. With its comic hitting all the highs that made them such great shows. Larger overarching plots but essentially smaller mini arcs of bizarrely cool and  far fetched “What if” scenarios every issue, ensuring it was anything but boring. I’m hardly surprised that while  looking for a preview I found that new writer Saladin Ahmed (Black Bolt) has said pretty much the same thing in interviews.

All this without even mentioning a new secret star merely two issues away! Peggy Carter: Captain America! All the loud cries of “it’s only an alternative reality version!” that always come up, or the dismissal owing for her apparently unforgivable ties to a video game, don’t care. I’ll take my Carter action wherever and whenever I can get it thank you very much. The other, much more excited half of the Internets enthusiastic reaction upon the reveal makes me feel that this could be an interesting take that will end up informing the character in general going forward.

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Dry County 2- Image Comics

When he’s not busy with she wolves and aquatic spy stories, Tommaso has been carving out his own little niche of criminally good neon-noir crime comics with the lies of Dark Corridor. This time around billed as “the everyman crime series”, Dry County finds Lou Rossi in the backdrop of a neon soaked nineties Miami trying to track down a woman he met one night in a laundromat.

Like a lot of Tommasi’s books, this ones taking a while to get up to full speed, and it helps that his past projects has proven he is very much worth sticking to with in this regard.

 

 

 

Rocketing from Avery Hill to a Retrograde Orbit in Kristyna Baczynski’s new graphic Novel

artist spotlight, comic, Comic spotlight, First Impressions, interview

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Over three years ago, and twice as many old fashioned’s, I found myself so completely  moved and drawn in by Kristyna Baczynski’s comic “Vessel” that I somehow ended up writing close to a thousand words about it. Diving deep and gently dissecting it.

A little excessive maybe for a comic comprising eight pages? Well, you can imagine the strange mix of excitement and trepidation I was feeling this week as the Leeds based creator announced her first full length graphic novel to be released by Avery Hill Publishing this September to nicely coincide with her home cities celebration of comics, Thought Bubble. You can expect a full review here around about this time 2019. Maybe.

“It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a long time, for years really. Alongside my other freelance commitments and part-time jobs, making a longer comic book could never quite fit into that scenario” said Baczynski of her previous work on her shorter self published comics, including the poignant and touching “Hand Me Down”, nominated for best Graphic Short in the 2016 Eisners. Having quit her lecturing job to go into comics and illustrations full time, Retrograde Orbit will mark her first foray into full length graphic novels and the first to be picked up by a major publisher. “Avery Hill had always been interested in and supportive of my work so we decided to finally get the ball rolling together” Baczynski commented on the subject of her new home with the publisher, who also announced new books from B.Mure and Tillie Walden to be released this autumn, “Avery Hill wanted the ball to be science fiction, so that was a nudge that started things off”.

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While another of her stories, the quietly sweet and hauntingly introspective “A Measure of Space” featured sci-fi elements with it’s cosmic disaster, Retrograde Orbit already feels like it’s fully embracing the genre, set on a mining planet at the edge of the solar system and the experiences of Flint as she grapples with her own notions of home and the possibilities of leaving it. Her unique composition and panel layout is something I talked about endlessly before and Retrograde Orbits structure clearly sets out to firmly launch her latest works sci-fi premise beyond just the, admittedly gorgeous, looking futuristic set dressings  “The mechanics of the story are based on the cycle of planets in a solar system, so that took some time to get right. I’m also trying to avoid sci-fi exposition. As much as I love Geordie LaForge and his technobabble, I wanted the science fiction world to be an immersive setting, a narrative metaphor, instead of something that needs explaining all the time”

Coming out in September it should come as no shock that Retrograde Orbit’s launch will coincide with this years Thought Bubble which as well as being a genuinely welcoming and uplifting showcase of comics talent, has also snagged a fair few exclusive releases for their comics celebrations in past years. “Thought Bubble 2018 will be my tenth show. That’s wild. So, we decided to pitch the release date for then” shared Baczynski when asked about the seemingly cosmic connection of convention and release dates “I absolutely love Thought Bubble; it’s my hometown show, they have always been supporters of my work and raise the profile of my home city. Not to mention all my comics friends visiting for a weekend every year. It’s the best. I’m so excited to share the book with them in September.”

A big thank you goes out to Kristyna for taking time out of her busy schedule to talk to me. You can find more of her work here and learn more about Retrograde Orbit over at Avery Hill.

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‘For the usual fee–plus expenses’- Bendis and Gaydos are back with new Jessica Jones series

comic, Comic spotlight, review, Uncategorized

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“Everybody feels beleaguered at some point, That’s the universal truth of punk, that you are going to feel, in whatever role you’re living, that everybody is against you”

– John Darnielle

Say what you like, Jessica Jones is a character who is at her most compelling when beleaguered, set upon and troubled. Alias reveled in seeing her overcome great odds and her own actions and although her appearances since her own title had her finding some semblance of peace and happiness it’s clear that on returning and picking up her story after over a decade away, Bendis isn’t interested in a happy Jessica either. With original artist Gaydos back on board as well we find our reluctant heroine, with a few tweaks here and there, pretty much back where they left her all those years. This issue finds her fresh out of prison and stubbornly dodging questions about the mysteries mounting up in her own life, her marriage, her incarceration and most importantly what, if anything has happened to her daughter, Danielle.

Barely skipping a beat, Bendis drops us back into her world weary frame of mind as if we were picking up the story from last month, never mind over ten years ago. His characters voices are all distinct and sharp, never more so than when they are giving a knowing wink to the changes in the Marvel landscape since Alias wrapped up. Although it’s comforting to once again to hear Jones’ jaded inner monologue, this time we can most definitely see where it might trip her up. Over the years she’s tussled with superheroes and seen incredible things, but when her new client mentions her husband’s unusual behaviour and outlandish claims of having lived another life, started “eight months ago”, dismissing the obvious answer and leaving us on the edge of our seats as Bendis teases us with a mystery of a character who is either on the con, or an unwitting casualty caught up on the wrong end of Hickman’s recent cosmic reshuffling. Reminded in part of the classic Astro Cities storyline, “The Nearness Of You”, with average citizens caught up in universe altering events they can scarcely comprehend, let alone react against, it sets up one of the books many, many mysteries.

Gaydos’ art for the first issue is as despondent and melancholy as it ever was. His tired and worn out characters set against his un-superheroic, washed out New York City managing to feel both fresh and familiar, emphasising just how unusual his style and tone is to comics even on the second time around. It’s thrilling to see the recently formed Champions striding through New York in Gaydos’ gorgeously grimey and downbeat style as Jessica sits on, suitably nonchalant at the public posturing and heroic antics around her.

“Is she a big deal or not?” asks a prison guard early on in the book, with some firmly tongue in cheek Bendis dialogue, daring the reader to answer. While the more cynical might point out his earlier remarks on having written everything he wanted with Jessica, or the success of this years Netflix show for his  sudden return to the world of Alias Investigations. Let’s face it comics are based on “never say never” and this issue seems almost genuinely reluctant to trade on the success of the TV show or even show off about getting the band back together, so to speak, lest the book stray too far from it’s scrappy underdog roots and with a subtle first issue might have just pulled it off. While some might be put off by Bendis’ deliberately slow pacing or knocking Jessica down once more for the sake of restoring her status quo somewhat,  the first issue sets up some intriguing conflicts and mysteries, all with the chance of her coming back stronger than ever.

 

The Pull List 21/09/16

comic, Comic spotlight, First Impressions

The Backstagers 1 (Boom Studios)

A little bit of a cheat this one given it came out weeks ago, but this second printing is perfect for certain people who despite regularly singing the praises of Boom  for the likes of Giant Days and The Spire, Still somehow manages to miss out on delightful new titles like The Backstagers. Written and created by current Detective Comics scribe James Tynion IV and artist Ryan Sigh,  it takes the Lumberjanes template of adorable art with an everyday setting with magical elements.This time the magic of the stage that turns out to be very real for the private school theatre crew of the title.

With two openly queer creators at the helm, Backstagers boasts a strikingly diverse queer cast it’s the kind of book I champion, and it’s refreshing already to know it’ll explore the kind of identities and personalities beyond the tired and tested. If ever there was a safe bet, then The Backstagers would be it, already released to rave reviews and praise, it looks to be every bit as heartwarming and welcoming as it’s camp based cousin.

Rumble 14 (Image Comics)

At the risk of repeating myself, this months issue of Rumble is another regular returnee onto my weekly  picks, and deservedly so. Aided by the enthusiastic but idiotic Del, Rathraq must face off against his own earthly remains and an impossible decision. With a unique and engrossing mythology, Arcudi and Harren continue to develop their mystical brawl-em-up’s cast of complex and conflicted characters. The question of “what colour darkness” is increasingly “shades of grey” to Rathraq as he faces the consequences of his life long vendetta. Action and intense visuals you can only find on the printed page, Rumble is constantly at the forefront of what makes comics so exciting.

 

 

“I’m still working on taking my own ideas seriously”- Talking comics and body horror with artist Tessa Black

artist spotlight, comic, Comic spotlight, First Impressions

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One of the biggest pleasures for me reading and collecting comics this year has been the sheer volume of exciting and interesting anthologies that have been released thus far. Between the ones from the major publishers and kickstarters, it’s been really easy to find something inventive and interesting from complete newcomers to more well known names. I’ve sung it’s praises on here before, a lot I know, but for me Image comics Island is still one of most consistently inventive in terms of content and creators as well as being readily available in comic stores. One of the clear standouts for me so far has to be Tessa Black’s “Seawitch” which was featured way back in Islands third issue.A trans Designer, Illustrator and long time artist from Vancouver, Seawitch is surprisingly Black’s first foray into the world of comics and it’s instantly striking in how confident, fully formed and realised the idea and execution is.

Created over the course of a single weekend, this deliciously unnerving and thoughtful comic depicts a woman stood alone on a beach, before entering the ocean as she begins drifting down to the depths and slowly undressing in a slow build of body horror. Clothing and jewellery and even body parts discarded as she descends to the ocean floor.A long dead pilot the only silent observer on this arresting and quietly unnerving, yet intimate scene. Slowly transforming her body to match the environment around her it culminates on the final page with the Seawitch at ease in her new surroundings, undressed and comfortable in the silent watery depths. For me it’s the collection of smaller moments leading up to this. A series of panels depicts a figure gently pulling a pair of socks, each pulled down with the other foot. It’s an every day act but here it is oddly intimate, sensual but uncomfortable.Black reframes this almost crushingly mundane act and make it feel voyeuristic, a far too personal and intimate an act for us to be witness to.

With it’s clean fluid lines and coloured only in minimal blues it captures the solitude and coldness of the sea, adding in alien, oceanic textures to the figures body. Although it works on a surface level as a slow build body horror, after being lucky enough to  talk to Black over e-mail she also expertly uses her first comics creation to communicate her personal experiences of being trans, addressing the idea of clothing as performance and how environment and peoples ideas of us shapes both our identity and form to certain extents.

Before Islands and Seawitch, had you ever considered producing comics before? If so what ideas did you have and what prevented you from making them?

I’ve been around comic artists for a few years, but always felt the burden of their expectations or opinions of certain genres and approaches in the medium. I still don’t consider myself a comic book artist or even an avid reader, but it’d definitely something I’d like to explore.

Did you find yourself changing your approach to drawing a comic rather than single illustrations? How did the idea for the minimalist color palette come about?

I think you can definitely see the change in approach when you compare my regular art with the comic. I was pretty pressed for time, so I would have coloured it with flats in a limited palette if I’d had more time. I still intend to do so when I get some time, so I can re-release it anywhere else. I’d probably add in illustrations on the side, similar to to the work of William Stout, which inspired me greatly as a kid.

On your tumblr, have a run of insect girls, or people with insect parts. What about insects appeals to you? Is it there bodies mostly or also behaviours?

I really like insects for a whole host of reasons. Their anatomy is so different from ours, more similar overall to the things we make than the way we see ourselves as humans. Despite drawing sexy bug ladies, I’m more interested in conforming the layers and segments of insects to conform to a more familiar silhouette.

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Also a series brightly colored goo-girls.  What attracted you to draw them, the malleability of them or some other aspect?

I like goo girls and shape shifting in general. I’d like to play around with the idea of being able to fluidly present your own body based on subconscious thought. Having a form decided by the subconscious, without being predisposed by genetic or environmental (physical) pressures.

You also mentioned you went through a phase of drawing yourself, what broke this series of drawings, or was it just a desire to move onto something else?

I think I started drawing who I wanted to be just after starting my transition. A lot of folks recommended that to work towards feeling comfortable with my body or thinking about clothing styles. I tried being pretty realistic with how I expected to look, and that shape formed the basis for a lot of my exploration of erotic art.It all started with a fairly simple and cartoony bodies but adapted to become softer and more varied as I experienced changes in my own body. I also get bored of things pretty easy and dislike seeing repetition in themes or processes in my art. I never really had much of a signature style and I’m always much more interested in trying new things than sticking to old ways. It feels like the best way to learn is to shake things up and tackle new directions in art, but that’s just me!