Today, in Indie Comic Roundup, we take a left turn into weirder waters. In Indie Comic Roundup #1, we looked at Superhero & High Fantasy books. This time, we delve into some odd little gems.
All three of these titles took, what I’ll call the road less traveled, to reach their artistic destination. Which I found intriguing and imminently interesting. (Though, I have learned that using ‘interesting’ to describe a project is sometimes seen as the polite way to say you don’t like it. I’m not using it in that sense though, just so we’re perfectly clear.)
An Escapism Artist
The first indie comic on my roundup is actually two comics: The Fantastical Death of the Down and Out Bagel and Rules of Going Home by Artist Hanh “Hondo” Nguyen. Her website, An Escapism Artist, hosts both of these comics.
The Fantastical Death of the Down and Out Bagel
A surreal psychological comedic psudeoautobipgraphy about a down and out artist trapped in mental sea of depression, inferiority complexes, bipolar, and artist blocks. Before they completely die as an artist, their subconscious along with their creations intervene to save them from themselves before it’s too late.
Rules of Going Home
A short comic about two siblings following the oddishly odd rules of going home. This is an anthology submission to Stripburger.
Nguyen describes her work as ‘psychological’ and ‘surreal,’ which is exactly what it is. But it’s also witty and whimsical. Not only is the story engaging, but I really enjoyed the added notes with each release (new pages are posted weekly) giving insight into the creation or reasoning behind each page. Inspirations, references, real life friends or events are the impetus for her work.
Maybe not so different than most, but she’s smart enough to explain these things out to us. This adds to the enjoyment & experience of reading each page.
(Update Note 08/15/2014: I failed as a writer/blogger. I mistakenly mislabeled Hanh Nguyen, as a ‘he.’ I have corrected the mistake, docked myself pay, and am truly very sorry Hanh.)
Desperate and Destitute
The second indie comic on my roundup is a single, 12-page PDF. Desperate and Destitute, by Jan C.J. Jones, is what she calls a “short story-in-silhouette experiment.”
The above pages are as follows (top left to bottom right): Desperate and Destitute cover, Page #3, Page #7, Page #9. By Jan C.J. Jones. All rights reserved.
One of my favorite things about this book, is the smart use of the shirt & tie to differentiate her main character from the others in the book. The idea of using only silhouettes throughout the book actually works quite well. It’s not a long, in-depth story, so there is very little need (or even warrant) for detailed character renditions. Jones isn’t selling you a character, she’s using visual aids to tell her short story. Want to read the full comic? Well that’s easy, just click here: DESPERATE AND DESTITUTE.
Maybe even more ‘interesting’ than Jone’s experimental comic, is her audio project A Journey with Strange Bedfellows. This is a presentation of some lesser known short stories (by greats like: Nathaniel Hawthorne, Wilkie Collins, Bram Stoker, H. H. Munro –published with nom de plume, ‘Saki’–, Jerome K. Jerome, and Jack London), woven together in a single adventure. Jone’s is bringing back the classic Gothic horror radio drama!
Synopsis: It is 1889 when Hunter Brown begins a quest to secure true love in a search for mysterious Faith, the young woman of his desires. The journey begins in Victorian Great Britain, moves to Paris then eastward to Hungary and finally, western Romania (former Transylvania). After overcoming insurmountable odds, and grave personal loss, Hunter must make the ultimate sacrifice to remain in Faith’s life. There are twists and turns, surprises and… there will be blood.
Interested? You should be. And since you are, I highly suggest going here to listen to the preview clips: A Journey with Strange Bedfellows You can also keep abreast of the projects progress at their Facebook page HERE.
The last indie comic on my roundup is a webcomic(?) called: Neptune Road by Betsy Streeter. The description of the project from her website is straight to the point “A story about people needing space. Told in short installments 3 times a week.”
From the Kickstarter:
NEPTUNE ROAD is a science fiction comic about what happens when Earth scientists convert Neptune(?!) to an inhabitable planet. After a few false starts. But now, it’s fine. Really. No, really. Who would take off to an iffy place like Neptune, you might ask. Crazy people? People with nothing left on Earth? Idealists? Criminals? Hackers? Abandoned children?
It looks as if the original intention was to format the story into a comic book, but it appears to have evolved into a web based project since then.
Each panel is accompanied with a section of story. Though the story-arc winds through all the panels, Streeter has done a great job of making each panel (and the accompanying text) seems to be story unto itself. The more time I spent with this, the more it grew on me. Though her website is a bit off putting (it’s got a circa 1998 vibe), please don’t be fooled. Neptune Road is worth the time and effort!
So there you have it, round two of the Indie Comic Roundup is complete. Please take a few minutes to visit all of these projects, and see if they are something you’d like to support. Until next time…
Art the World!