And since we're on the subject of great, regularly published comics anthologies, we would be remiss if we failed to bring to your attention the sixth issue of what we consider to be a strong contender for the title of the best regularly published comics anthology going, the Made-in-Pittsburgh Andromeda Quarterly! Packed with an even dozen contributors turning in 68 pages of comics and illustration, AQ#6 may be the biggest and best issue yet. The issue gets off to a fine start with an artfully accomplished, if darkly desolate, cover by editor/publisher Andy Scott, which provides the gateway for some "far out comix": from the slapstick comedy of Corey Ruffin to the childhood fantasies of powerlessness transformed in "Tin Foil" (a Kid Brother™ tale) by Alex Williams, the work presented here truly does range far and wide. Nils Balls delivers a pair of deft slice of life comics with "Turbo" and "The New Boyfriend". The issue's longest story is "An Itty Bitty Teenie Punk Summoning" by Caitlin Rose Boyle, which employs a fully formed cartoon style wedded to a solid sense of storytelling and pacing in the service of what is ultimately a slight and silly tale, but one that the level of craft on display makes enjoyable and engaging nonetheless. The centerpiece is "We Are Stars" by Shannon Durdin, a touching reminiscence of adolescent innocence that makes good use of AQ's ability/policy of printing in both black and white and full color by switching from one to the other at the crucial juncture to highlight the shift in emotional register. Childhood is revisited again in "Heart Shaped Box" (starring Champ™) by Jed Collins, specifically a 5th grade Valentine's Day. Alex Strader turns in four pages filled with some great, highly appealing cartooning that put us in mind of Peter Bagge merged with Michael DeForge. Andromeda mainstay, Nate McDonough turns in five full-page illustrations in which he tackles a few American pop-culture icons & clichés along with turning in a couple of indefinable Grixly-Moments™. Juan Fernandez turns in a freewheeling one-pager designed to raise readers' spirits. The issue closes out with a lively space satire, "Captain Ferguson in: Screw This!" by Boris Bayo, which artfully and effectively punctures the classic Sci-Fi myth of the heroic Space Captain; a tale for our times (sadly). All in all, a great issue, well worth any comics-reader's $5!
This third volume in the Dog City series of boxed comics collections is the first we've listed here for the simple reason that the others sold out before we had the chance to! This time around we're making a point of getting the word right out with the hope that someone new will get a chance to lay their hands on one of these hand-made (in Pittsburgh and Vermont) box sets containing a baker's dozen books. Contributors this time around are Amelia Onorato, Jenn Lisa, Allison Bannister, Tom O'Brien, Simon Reinhardt, Caitlyn Rose Boyle, Luke Healy, Sophie Goldstein, Iris Yan, Tom Dibble, Reilly Hadden, Laurel Lynn Leake, Steven Krall, Dan Rinylo and editor, Juan Fernandez. Limited to 120 copies!
This time around, the Dog City team is focused on COLLABORATION. Each of the seven works collected here is the result of a free for all process of collaboration between two creators. Anything goes, and anything does in this 100+ page, B & W, perfect bound anthology, as the work takes unexpected twists and turns. Collaboration with another enables a creator to break out of their own familiar terrain and discover -- and, crucially, explore -- a new world. Join in the discovery, in Dog City #4!