2011 New York Comic Con Indie Spotlight

Written by Shaun Daniels and Edited by Sharon Wong

New York Comic Con is quickly becoming the closest thing to rival the mega convention San Diego Comic Con.  The one major difference between the two is that NYCC continues to focus on comic books as opposed to its west coast equivalent, offering up lots of comics, especially of the indie variety.  The Fright Channel found four standouts in the world of indie comics worthy of your attention and hard-earned ducats.

First up is new publishing house, Sea Lion Books, from the Dabel brothers, David and Pascal.  Although with barely just a year of publishing under their belt, Sea Lion has collaborated with several big names in the writing world including the likes of Anne Rice.  The one comic book in particular that deserves your attention is Pariah, created and written by Academy Award-winning producer Aron Warner and Philip Gelatt (currently of Providence, RI) with art by Brett Weldele.  Set in a near future, Pariah focuses on teenager Brent Marks, who is one of a group of genetically altered kids, or Vitros as they are called.  The Vitros were not born with superpowers but adversely effected from a cure with superintelligence.  The story really hits its stride when the government starts to round up Vitros after clashes with extremists.  Pariah runs the gamut of emotion without choking on teen angst, alienation and political upheaval.  The art is rendered so beautifully with the colors running from warm and inviting to cold and alone.

Next is comic book collective, Ashcan Press, set up to promote and support independent comics.  Ashcan Press will be releasing one book that that has our interests peaked, The Urn, by writer Patrick Kindlon and artist Leandro Panganiban.  The Urn is a crime thriller following recently paroled Lyle “Sun” Sexton on a quest for revenge against the low-life who killed his ex-wife, Talia.  Sun, a former member of a motorcycle gang, sets off on a cross country trek with the urn containing the ashes of his ex- wife.  Along the way, Sun will cross paths with his old M. C. (Motorcycle Club), which has split into two factions, each vying for his loyalty.

The Dare Detectives is less of a comic book and more of a Saturday Morning cartoon under the guise of a comic book.  Originally published at Dark Horse Comics, the Ben Caldwell-written & drawn series is making its way to Archaia in December of this year.  The Dare Detectives are former crook Maria Dare and her ensemble cast of misfits who solve the weirdest of mysteries.  There is no other comic that combines bunny rabbits, Chinatown gang lords and abominable snowmen together, and with success.  The art in this book blends cartooning and stylized comic art, literally spilling all over the pages with its outline-less style.

Finally, a tease of a graphical novel to arrive in the form of a mini-comic, Fables of the Flying City.  The mini-comic sets up the book to come, presenting us with just enough of a tease of the flying city of Amperstam and its secrets.  Written by Jared Axelrod and drawn by Steve Walker, the (mini)book follows journalist Ashe as she uncovers the secrets that Amperstam has locked away.  She also does battle with air constables.  Look for the graphic novel, The Battle of Blood and Ink, in Spring 2012.

Feedback is always welcomed at shaun@horrorhaven.com and sharon@horrorhaven.com

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