Written by Julia
Last weekend I had the wonderful opportunity to attend Denver Comic Con 2015! This was a great experience to talk to creators, explore Denver, and enjoy the large happy gathering of nerdiness. While I was at DCC, I took the time to talk to some local creators and read their work. I also attended a panel highlighting the indie comic community in Denver. At this panel I learned about meetups like Denver Drink & Draw and Squid Works, which allow artists to come together and enjoy each other’s company while working on their projects. I was happy to find that Denver has such a supportive, thriving arts community. In this article I’d like to spotlight several of the books I picked up during the weekend. All of these creators are doing great work and my only regret is that I didn’t have time to speak to every single creator at Denver Comic Con. Enjoy these reviews and I hope you’re inspired to pick up these artists’ work.
By Melanie Gillman
Toxoplasmosis is gorgeous. A book with no words, this story tells itself through the incredible artwork. The story is eerie and horrifying, in the best possible way. I love the fact that there is no dialogue because it makes you focus on every beautiful panel. The plot is easy to follow and interesting and the last couple of pages will send chills down your spine. More of Melaine Gillman’s work can be found at www.melaniegillman.com. Check out her webcomic As the Crow Flies and a list of comics that have inspired her.
Illustrated Thesaurus: Cry out for C-words
By A.J. Young
One in a series of Illustrated Thesauruses, this book is hilariously irreverent. It takes a bunch of words that start with C, defines them, gives synonyms, and uses the words in wonderfully ludicrous comics. All of the art is done with little stick figures, reminiscent of the style of xkcd and Cyanide and Happiness. Not only are these comics funny, but I expanded my vocabulary while reading them! Definitely a worthwhile read. More Illustrated Thesaurus comics can be found at www.illustratedthesaurus.com.
Those Shadow People #0
Writer/Letterer: Phil Buck
Illustrator: Quinn McGowan
Colorist: Iwan Joko Triyono
Cover Artist: Cyril Brown
Cover Letters: Matt Schaffer
Issue #0 of Those Shadow People collects several short stories to give readers a taste of the Those Shadow People universe. It includes a beautiful map of the Shadow Realm and a guide to the different characters in this world. The stories do a great job of building interest and making the series seem like an intriguing read. I am excited to keep reading this book as it seems to involve a well thought out, intricate universe with a well-developed cast of characters. And it’s sci-fi!! My favorite! The creators of Those Shadow People also pair their comics with music, which can be found at www.nematoderecords.com.
By Jordan Kotzebue
The Hominids series follows prehistoric people fighting to survive in a world filled with deadly animals and other hostile tribes. The art is dynamic and the main characters are immediately likeable and sympathetic. My favorite part about this comic is that it makes me think about the ancestry of humanity and all the different stages of life that happened before our current species came along. I enjoyed this first issue and will continue to read more. Jordan Kotzebue’s website can be found at www.hominidscomic.com.
Trash Man #1
By Joshua Catalanotto
I was immediately drawn to this book by the description on the inside cover, explaining that the idea for this comic came from two brothers goofing around on a comic making computer program as kids. I can’t tell you how many ridiculous little comic strips still exist on my family’s old Mac Classic so the nostalgia factor was strong with this one. Anyhow, Trash Man takes the idea of being environmentally conscious and flips it on its head, making the recyclers and environmentalists the bad guys and, you guessed it, a trash man becomes the hero. This goofy book was fun to read and set in Colorado, which is always a plus. More of Joshua Catalanotto’s work can be found at www.linescience.com.
By Chris Sisneros
Rotten Bananas collects several short comics written by Chris Sisneros. My favorite one of these is ‘Bernie the Business Bear’, in which a bear tries and fails to survive in the business world. He doesn’t fit in the office chairs or his button up shirts, but these are the least of his worries. This comic also rhymes, which is fantastic. I also enjoyed ‘Pancake’, a comic where people run for their lives from a giant pancake. Chris Sisneros art and comics can be found at chrissisneros.daportfolio.com.