I have a huge stack of small and independent press books that I pick up at comic conventions. Every week I’m pulling out a few and telling you about them, and how to get them. This week it’s an all ages week!
Title: Baggywrinkles: A Lubber’s Guide to Life at Sea
Creator: Lucy Bellwood
Publisher: Lucy Bellwood
Ages: Anyone old enough to board a sailing ship
What’s it About: Sailing ships. Maritime mayhem. Bilgeslop, pigs and roosters.
What I like: Lucy was a delight to talk to at A2CAF and she’s every bit as funny and lively as her comic. It’s semi-autographical and semi-historical, depending on the chapter, but always funny and interesting. She teaches you about life on ship in a way that doesn’t feel like learning. The style is very reminiscent of the way Scott McCloud teaches comics and her art is detailed, exuberant, and excellent. Her comedic timing and panel beats are brilliant and a joy to behold.
Title: 7″ Kara
Creator: Becca Hilburn
Publisher: Becca Hilburn
Where Can I get it: Natto Soup
What’s it about: A little family living in a big suburb.
What I like: It’s all vibrant water color and exuberance. The story of littles has been done before, but that’s like saying BatMan’s been done before. There’s always room for more. It’s sweet and funny and the kind of book to curl up with on a rainy Saturday with your cocoa in hand.
Title: Aw Yeah Comics! and… Action!
Creators: Art Baltazar and Franco, and shorts by many others
Publisher: Dark Horse
What’s it about: Action Cat and Adventure Bug are actually Cornelius and Allowicious, you’re typical comic book store employees. But when adventure occurs they change into Skokie’s guardians against Evil Cat. Throw in Adorable Cat and Shelly Bug, Anti-Gravity Bear, Awesome Bear and a cast of thousands and your ready for Action!
What I like: I featured Scoot & Franco last week, but I featured Scoot. So this time it’s Franco’s turn. And Art’s too. Art and Franco have a symbiotic style of simplicity and energy that leaps off the page. They love creating vast continuity and you could write an entire wikipedia just on what’s in this single trade. But somehow, you don’t need it. In an Art & Franco world, things just ARE and you run with it. This is the kind of comic people think of when Adults think about comics. Silly, cartoony, slapstick, puns and everything juvenile – as if these are bad things. In an Art & Franco world everything ends happily, everyone has fun, and you SMILE. The comic started off as just doodles of mascots for the comic store they opened in Skokie, Il. But like the store, which now has grown to include Muncie, IN and New York, the characters took on a life of their own and expanded into a bright colored world. If you’re ever at a show with them, go chat. They are the friendliest bunch in town, whatever the town.