Local horror anthology comic book takes shape

Bill Hook reports that many Kansas City area creators are developing contributions for the upcoming comic book horror anthology titled 86’d. In addition to Hook, creators who have been associated with the project include co-publisher Nick Perry, C.W. Cooke, Kelsey Wroten, and Bobby Bierley.

Hook says that the final list of creators isn’t finalized yet. “We have many people working on contributions for the book. We have many creators from the KC area but we have reached out as far as New York, Los Angeles, and even a group of artists from France.”

The publication will be in magazine format with black and white interiors. “It will be 52 pages and will contain lots of extras,” Hook said. “We plan to insert an uncut sheet of trading cards featuring art from all contributing artists. It will also feature a flip cover, one side featuring art by Nick Perry and the other side will feature my artwork. We have many other extras in the works but we will announce them closer to the release of the book.” Hook gives the target publication date simply as “Spring 2012,” allowing the team some flexibility to shift the release.

An illustration from a story written by C.W. Cooke and drawn by Kelsey Wroten for the horror anthology 86'd.

It’s important to Hook for 86’d to feature a variety of styles and voices. “I think the diversity and originality of the project are cool,” he said. “I work with Nick at the day job, but we come from different worlds creatively. I grew up on comics and that led me to the art world; the art world eventually led Nick to comics. We chose horror as the genre because it was an interest that we share. We feel like the marriage of art styles and approaches is very unique. We have creators in the book who are experienced pros and some who have never tried anything like this before. No two artists in the book have much in common in terms of style or approach. And, if we do our job, we could make this project a very special one.”

Hook and Perry will be funding the project at least partially through an online campaign. “We will be attempting to raise money to pay some production costs and to compensate the creators. It will be launching in December on indiegogo.com.”

Meanwhile, some creators are working to firm up their contributions to the project. Writer Bobby Beirley is actively searching for a collaborator. “I’m looking for an artist to work on my submission for the 86’d horror anthology. I have one story basically done, although there are a couple more I could also do if anyone is interested in drawing them.” Bierley’s story is six-pages long and includes drawing horses. Artists interested in contacting Bierley with samples can contact him through Kansas City Comics (kirk@kansascitycomics.com) to have their messages forwarded.

You can follow the project as it develops on the 86’d workblog at http://86dstudios.blogspot.com.

Jukebox Comix #6: The Space Queen

Jukebox Comix #6
Jukebox Comix #6 by Kelsey Wroten (Click to enlarge)

Cartoonist Kelsey Wroten is young, talented, and she’s giving away her latest comic book. You can download a free PDF of Jukebox Comix #6 from her website. This issue features a story titled “The Space Queen.” Wroten describes it as “the plight of a young woman with a big, and as always, unreachable dream, and not to mention strange taste in men.”

“My inspiration for ‘The Space Queen’ is the proclivity for some people, including myself sometimes, to immerse themselves in fantasy life when reality rejects them, or they can’t find the success they feel they deserve in the ‘real world’,” Wroten said. “The heroine of my story brushes off everything that a ‘normal’ person would hold important — education, work, even sex — for fantastic versions of them.”

A panel from Jukebox Comix #6, "The Space Queen"
A panel from Jukebox Comix #6, "The Space Queen" (Click to enlarge)

Wroten’s comics are literary and alternative, far from the superheroics that many people associate with comics. She says that she is heavily influenced by cartoonist Daniel Clowes (Eightball, Ghost World), whose stories feature oddball outcasts and surrealist elements. “I also really like Ariel Schrag. I think my content reflects the two,” Wroten said. “Schrag deals more with the close to home, emotional, details of her personal life, as she primarily does autobiographical comics.”

The 20-year-old cartoonist is currently a nominee for a 2011 ACP Cartooning Award in the category of Best Comic Panel/Strip. Her comic strip Sarcastic Animals appears in the The Campus Ledger, the student paper of Johnson County Community College. The results of the competition will be announced at the 90th Annual ACP/CMA National College Media Convention in Orlando on Saturday, Oct. 29, 2011.

Free State Comicon Report – Part Three

Free State Comicon 2011

Here’s our final wrap up on the 2011 Free State Comicon featuring photos, photos, and more photos. It’s been a week now since the event, and here at Kansas City Comics we’ve enjoyed following up with a number of the guests. We’re planning several future features and interviews that started with conversations in Lawrence.

Who did you meet at the show? What treasures did you buy from a dealer or creator? What made this event better than before? What would have made it even greater? Leave a comment at the end of this article to share your thoughts and memories of the 2011 Free State Comicon.

More photos and commentary after the jump.

Continue reading “Free State Comicon Report – Part Three”