Closed Caption Comics
Missed out on the Brooklyn Comics and Graphics Festival? Want to check out new comics, zines, and prints from some of the show’s buzziest attendees and exhibitors? BCGF co-organizer PictureBox Inc. has you covered. Dan Nadel’s brainchild has stocked its online store with new books and art from a who’s who of folks at the show, including Frank Santoro, Anya Davidson, Matthew Thurber, CF, Sammy Harkham, and Leif Goldberg, and the anthologies Mould Map 2 (edited by Hugh Frost and Leon Sadler) and Weird (edited by Noel Freibert) from Landfill Editions and Closed Caption Comics respectively. Stuff your stockings, artcomics fans.
Wanna get your hands on some pulpy, creepy, weird, funny and, at times, genuinely harrowing horror comics? Allow me to introduce you to Lane Milburn, who’s got the deal for you. Milburn, a member of the Baltimore-based Closed Caption Comics collective, is offering two of his collections, the Xeric Grant-winning Death Trap and the screen-printed “mini”comic The Mage’s Tower, now on sale for the low low price of $12 total.
The cool thing about Milburn’s comics is that you can never quite tell where they’re headed. The title story in Death Trap seems like your typical slasher/Texas Chain Saw set-up, with a quartet of drunk teens stumbling into some bad craziness in the woods one night, but the killers they encounter are far, far stranger than the ones in the midnight movies of yore. Meanwhile, the other collection’s quasi-title story “The Mage’s Tour” (tour, not tower) starts like a fantasy novel about a pair of monks sent to liberate a tower from the clutches of an evil overlord, takes a left turn into comedy when it’s revealed that said overlord has turned said tower into a modern-day tourist trap complete with middle-aged moms who can’t work a cameraphone, and then shifts yet again into a stunningly dark depiction of violence. Milburn’s muscular, crosshatched art style can have you laughing one moment, cheering through an action sequence the next moment, and leave you shaken and disturbed when all is said and done. Highly recommended.
The Late March Mayhem sale only lasts until April 1, so order now!
It’s ’80s-indie black-and-white space-opera action as you like it! Presenting Twelve Gems, a graphic novel in the making by cartoonist Lane Milburn of Baltimore’s Closed Caption Comics collective. Milburn, a recipient of the Xeric Grant for his self-published action-horror collection Death Trap. calls it “a comedic sci-fi space epic starring three heroic characters enlisted to travel the galaxy in search of twelve magical gems.” Judging from the very impressive preview pages — filled with Heavy Metal hotness and crosshatched and black-spotted to within an inch of their lives — Milburn’s really going for the gusto here. Closed Caption Comics is best known for genre-influenced artcomics in the Fort Thunder/Paper Rodeo mode, but Twelve Gems seems to me to have more in common with the giddy throwback style of Benjamin Marra. I can’t wait to see more.
Now here’s a novel idea for a horror comic. In Closed Caption Comics collective member Conor Stechschulte’s webcomic Two Broken Branches, a guy and a girl strolling through the dark woods one night have a choice to make: Stay on the road and plow on to their destination even though it might take them all night, or see if they can find some warmth and companionship at a nearby campfire even though it’ll take them off course. Stechschulte’s solution? Show the stories that emerge from both possible decisions, right next to each other — sticking to the road on the left-hand side, investigating the fire on the right-hand side. Suffice it to say that the tales diverge wildly and neither ends pleasantly, although you’ll have to read them to find out for whom. And both are drawn in Stechschulte’s sinister, shadowy, scratchy style. Check it out.
(via Noel Freibert)
I’ve been collecting David Bowie sketches from comics artists at shows and cons since MoCCA 2007. What can I say? He’s my favorite superhero. In that time I’ve amassed drawings of the chameleonic musician from 97 different artists, and adding to the collection is always a high priority for me at every show. I had exceptionally good luck at this year’s MoCCA — you better hang on to yourself as we flip through this year’s haul!
Niklas Asker (above): Oh man, look at that, just look at it. How can a sketch be shiny? Niklas Asker pulled it off with maybe the most elegant and sexy Bowie of the batch–no surprise, if you’ve seen his graphic novel Second Thoughts.
I came to shop.
Seriously, I was just about as excited for this past weekend’s MoCCA festival as I’ve ever been for any comic convention. And it wasn’t because of the guests or the panels or even getting to see so many of my friends and colleagues — it was because of the comics. The best thing about a small-press show is your ability to dig into the tables and come away with enough treasures to keep you reading happily for weeks. Proceeding from the top left of the picture above in as logical a fashion as I can manage, here’s a rundown of my personal treasure trove…