Every week I write about the most interesting new comics hitting comic shops, bookstores, digital, and the web. Feel free to comment below if there's a comic you've read recently that you want to talk about or an upcoming comic that you'd like me to consider highlighting.
By Sophia Foster-Dimino
The Ignatz Awards were presented last weekend, and one of the big winners was Sophia Foster-Dimino, who won Promising New Talent and Outstanding Series, the latter for her self-published series of mini-comics, Sex Fantasy. The Ignatz Awards are something of a bellwether for future trends in comics, and the rise of gender diversity in comics was seen this year as female creators swept the awards for the first time ever.
The six comics in the Sex Fantasy series, despite the title, rarely deal in any sort of erotica, but instead are quiet visual poems about the roles we play in life and how we relate to each other. Foster-Dimino used to work for Google, creating many of the popular animated Google Doodles that have adorned its front page. Here, her deceptively simple drawings are imbued with so much life that you half expect to see them start moving on the page.
Right now, in order to pick up an installment of Sex Fantasy in print, you’ll need to catch Foster-Dimino at a comics show and buy it from her in person. Until someone collects and distributes them in an easy-to-get package, you can read all six comics for free on her Tumblr right here.
The New Deal
By Jonathan Case
Dark Horse Comics
Jonathan Case, artist of the 2012 award-winning true-crime graphic novel Green River Killer, has a new graphic novel, The New Deal, and it is a trip to the roaring 1930s. Set in the lavish Waldorf-Astoria hotel in New York City, an affable bellhop with a gambling problem and an African-American maid and part-time actress get taken in by the drama and intrigue of the hotel’s high society guests. Criminal hijinks ensue, and it's all peppered with commentary on race and class in the FDR years.
Case is an outstanding artist and his crisp brushwork and soft, gray-toned washes perfectly capture the look of early 20th-century American cinema, and the gestures and expressions he gives his characters feel like they’re pulled right from a screwball comedy of the era. Here’s a preview.
By MK Reed and Farel Dalrymple
In indie-comics terms, this is what you might consider a star-studded collaboration. MK Reed is the author of successful young adult graphic novels like The Cute Girl Network, and Farel Dalrymple is the artist behind last year’s acclaimed epic graphic novel The Wrenchies. Together, they have released a slim, black-and-white graphic novella sure to appeal to teenage readers looking to see themselves reflected in an all-too-realistic drama.
Palefire opens with a young girl asking her mom for permission to go out on a date with a guy who seems to have a reputation for trouble. Not only is her mom hesitant about it, but everyone else in her life tries to warn her off of him too. Reed and Dalrymple do a good job of capturing the uncertainty of teenage dating and of trying to make decisions at an age when you want to weigh what you already know about yourself against what you want to find out for sure.
By Sophie Goldstein
Sophie Goldstein’s The Oven is not a new release this week (it came out in April), but it was another big winner at the Ignatz Awards and will likely receive a new push at indie-friendly comic shops and bookstores in the coming weeks. Winner of the Outstanding Graphic Novel award, it is Goldstein’s first long-form work after having already won last year's Ignatz for Outstanding Minicomic for House of Women.
The Oven is science fiction set in a world where natural resources are dwindling and urban areas have set laws and other extreme measures in order to control the population numbers. A young couple decide to leave the literal bubble that contains society and run off to an anti-government commune in the middle of nowhere in order to have a baby. There they find that escaping society and having a baby will not make everything right.