Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Short post this week because I'm catching up from time in Traverse City for the Cherry Capital Con & I'm on a deadline (or three).

3 Self-Published Independent book recommendations:
Comics are stories. And while I enjoy a superhero bash-em-up from time to time, I want the diversity in comic stories & genres to be more widely known & appreciated. Here are three books that I have discovered at conventions this year which were all self-published by the creators and I think are deserving of wider recognition, not just for their conviction and bravery to self-publish, but also for their quality work.
Order of Tales: The City of Shells: by Evan Dahm
This is the first book in a series of three by Evan Dahm about a storyteller Koark keeping history alive as he searches to discover a lost story important to his people. What grabbed me about this book is the immersive world-building that Evan is setting up. I have not yet read the remaining two books, but I finished book one feeling I needed to (the story can be read online for free at http://rice-boy.com/ but I am waiting to acquire the physical books which may be tough for new readers as it seems the first book may have gone out-of-print... ). The fantasy world of Order of Tales is slowly unfolded through illuminated manuscript-like storytelling, race & culture designs, maps, and the sense that there is more to discover with every turn of the page.
The Green Monk: by Brandon Dayton
Brandon's ink work drew me to his booth when I passed it in the Phoenix Comic Con's artist alley. I saw his debut comic The Green Monk, a fairy tale of-sorts about a wandering monk who ,using an enchanted blade of grass, takes on a giant. After reading the story back at my table I went back and bugged Brandon several more times to talk shop about inking, pen work, his colored work (he had some lovely prints he colored digitally which looked hand-colored) and ultimately I purchased a commission piece from him for my Harry Potter themed collection.
You can find out more about Brandon & even buy a copy of Green Monk here: http://brandondayton.com/
Shi Long Pang (pronounced Sher Loong Pong): by Ben Costa
Ben also came by at Phoenix to show me his Xeric Award winning book. The Xeric is granted once a year to a comic creator deserving of taking their vision to print by a grant of funds to be used for the printing costs. Ben's story started as a webcomic and after winning the Xeric, he was able to publish his first volume. Pang is historical fiction in the tradition of Stan Sakai's Usagi Yojimbo (Stan was awesome enough to give Ben a quote for the book cover) set in 17th century China about a short & fat young monk. Ben has really done his research about the history of the period and the politics and language, and religion....and it shows! You can read Shi Long Pang every Friday on Ben's site as well as order his hardcover: http://www.shilongpang.com/
Fan Art:
Titled "I did not agree to this" by Adakie. I really like the design for the front of Kenzie & Saxon's cloaks. They both look a bit young...perhaps this is when they were still tenderpaws in the Guard.
Upcoming Appearances:
San Diego Comic Con: July 20-24
Baltimore Comic Con: Aug. 20-21
New York Comic Con: Oct. 13-16


Brandon said...


Thanks for the shout-out. It was great meeting you in Phoenix.

CraftyAndy said...

Very inspiring. I've been trying to figure this whole thing out of publishing, if it's even for me. Getting good critiques to help me improve is hard work in itself, sometimes.

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