I won't be at the Toronto Comic Arts Festival this weekend, but somehow I have a shopping list for things I'd buy there. So, if you're going, walk a mile in my imagined shoes, and go shopping in my guise.
First, you should seek out stuff I've talked about on this blog before. Namely, find Vera Brosgol and Becky Cloonan and buy their new comics. If you find Vera, you will also find Emily Carroll and Jen Wang, both of whom also have products you should by. All those links take you to my previous write-ups.
Ross Campbell, the creator of Wet Moon and Shadow Eyes has put together a collection of his self-published Mountain Girl comics, most of which (if not all) are out of print. It also features some brand new material for an unfinished issue.
Ross is a tremendously talented artist. Wet Moon is one of my favorite books. It's a tragic soap opera with elements of horror and comic-book action tropes. Its main draw, however, beyond Ross' gorgeous line work, is the characters. It's a narrative driven by dialogue and behavior, following a bunch of college girls in the South as they struggle with dating, identity, and the general ennui of youth.
Mountain Girl is a bit different. It's a subversion of the "jungle girl" genre, so essentially an adventure book with giant monsters and fighting. Whereas Wet Moon is about small things that feel very large, Mountain Girl is just BIG!
Ross has more info on his Live Journal. Because it's 2002 and he's a teenage girl.
Speaking of, have you been reading The Adventures of Superhero Girl online? You should be, because it's super hilarious.
Faith Erin Hicks' ongoing serial stars an average girl whose main activity is, well, being a superhero. She's not that good at it yet, but she's trying. The comic is funny and charming and drawn with equal verve and wit.
Faith has collected the first 55 strips, along with some sketches and other material, into one fancy book called Just the Usual Superpowers. I would think that having that many of the original comics under one cover should make good introduction to the strip, and the pictures of the actual printed volume suggest that it is a handsome book and well worth the purchase. You can read more from Faith here.
You won't be sorry. This humorous take on the notion of "superheroes in real life" is far funnier and full of more genuine character than the more "serious," generally hyper-violent mainstream endeavors in the same genre. There is a sweetness to Faith's work that is irresistible, and it helps that the kid is one hell of a cartoonist. Her drawing only gets better and better. I love the way her lines curve and the solid blockiness of her shapes.
There are going to be a ton of people at TCAF, but those are the books I'd seek out first if I were there. You can do it, too. Don't let me down!
Current Soundtrack: miscellaneous Drifters and Duane Eddy; Beastie Boys, Hot Sauce Committee Part 2
e-mail = golightly at confessions123.com * Midi-Confessions123 * Criterion Confessions * Live Journal Syndication * ComicSpace * Last FM * GoodReads * The Blog Roll [old version] * DVDTalk reviews * My Books On Amazon
All text (c) 2011 Jamie S. Rich