2dcloud

[Originally written as part of a comic library blog/fundraiser.]

The first draft of this list had a lot of books and cartoonists that didn’t quite make it to this version. Part of that slimming down was realizing that nearly a dozen of the entries came from one publisher: 2dcloud. Despite being a legitimately small press (editors past-and-present Raighne Hogan, Kim Jooha, Maggie Umber, and Justin Skarhus and an additional staff of two? maybe?), 2dcloud publishes a truly impressive range of genres and formats: humor, horror, sci-fi, poetry, non-narrative, hardcovers, minicomics, and everything in between. And in a time when indie publishers often resort to backwards racism and misogyny to cast themselves as edgy or challenging, 2dcloud is honestly pushing the boundaries of what comics can look like while centering artists that much of the comics community ignores. I learn more from reading 2dcloud than I do from any other publisher.

Out-Of-Hollow-Water

From Out of Hollow Water by Archie Bongiovanni

 In the library (a sampling):
Rudy by Mark Connery
Out of Hollow Water by Archie Bongiovanni
Yours by Margot Ferrick
Someone Please Have Sex With Me by Gina Wynbrandt
Architecture of an Atom by Juliacks
Sound of Snow Falling by Maggie Umber
Turning Japanese by MariNaomi

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Gonna Be Reading

[This post originally appeared on Hazel & Wren, and it might still be viewable there with the accompanying images.]

The bad news is I’m sitting in an empty room while all my books (and most of the rest of my stuff) is in an entirely different house. This is because moving is hard and I’m bad at planning.

Thankfully, I have a lot of crowdfunded comics to look forward to once I get my change of address form all filled out. Here are two upcoming releases that I’m eager to have dropped in my brand new mailbox.

2dcloud2dcloud’s Spring Collection

Sure, the Kickstarter is over, but that just means you can buy all these books directly from 2dcloud.com. This “season” of books fits perfectly together, though, so you should definitely read them all. Here’s the excellent lineup:

  • Turning Japanese by MariNaomi
  • Someone Please have Sex With Me by Gina Wynbrandt
  • Virus Tropical by Powerpaola
  • Trying Not to Notice by Will Dinski

I’ve had the pleasure of seeing both MariNaomi and Gina Wynbrandt read excerpts from these releases. Both are brutally honest about their lives and their desires, but that honesty is coupled with so much kindness and humor and empathy that they’ll flat out break your heart. Also, Mari’s lettering is the most immaculate in the business, and Gina’s neon colors make her comics feel like Lisa Frank’s bad trips.

Of all the books, Virus Tropical is the one I know the least about. The description is great, though:

Powerpaola uses a series of vignettes to transform the simplicity of middle-class family life into a thought-provoking narrative that would have been inconceivable prior to Colombia’s sexual revolution. Focusing on the lives of a family of women in the 80’s-90’s, Powerpaola’s tale highlights the excitement, danger, and struggles of a country in the midst of radical change.

And Powerpaola’s mark-making feels passionately obsessive. Just take a look at these preview pages:

virustropical39

virus-tropical-117

And Will Dinski is just a gentleman of indie comics. His older work comprises a body of flawless minicomics, each one an attentively designed art object. For instance: a comic about maps that unfolds like an atlas; a comic about taking a Scientology test that is built around a scan of the test results; and some careful screenprinted covers with glow-in-the-dark ink. But I’ve heard that Trying Not to Notice features a much looser, less controlled Will Dinski, which is an exciting style to look forward to.

Screen Shot 2016-08-03 at 6.51.01 PMThe Rise of Czap BooksThe 2017 Collection

This one’s still going! Give Czap Books your money right here. The lineup:

  • Witchlight by Jessi Zabarsky
  • don’t tell me not to worry (i’ll worry all i want) by Kelly Kwang
  • Egg Creme #1 by Liz Suburbia

Aw, dang, if only I had my comic collection and my personal computer. Then I could show you some excellent screen caps from Zabarsky’s digitally released Witchlight serial. Even then, it wouldn’t matter since Zabarsky’s remastering them for the book release. Hop over to the Kickstarter to see her exceptional choreography and intricate mapping. It’s about a witch and her kidnapped sidekicka perfect fantasy setup.

Similarly, if I had my full computer setup, I’d show you Kelly Kwang’s quiet, grainy renditions from Frontier#12, a short comic all about the cosmic loneliness of the Space Youth Cadets. Here’s the only image I have access to:

kwang

See that quiet concern? That loving reproduction of digital aesthetics? That airbrush feel of love lived and lost? That’s what you can look forward to in don’t tell me not to worry.

And as for Liz Suburbia’s work, well, it has a feel of primal punk cartooning. Egg Creme is a sequel to the hit Sacred Heart, and the ink on the preview pages looks like it was applied with an angry razor despite its clear storytelling.

So there you go! It’s one million degrees here in Minnesota, and I’m stuck on the second story of a dirty, croaking house with none of my books.