Yet More Comics, Webcomics, and Illustrated Gems

Last year around the same time, I deviated from the monthly theme and brought comic and webcomic recommendations from Van CAF. Apparently, this is about to be an annual tradition because I attended this year’s Van CAF too. It was disorientingly huge! Twice the number of guests and a second room to adventure in.

Also, I attended the event with a bunch of friends, most of whom were as lost as me– save for Lindsay from Me on Books. I owe a chunk of my webcomic recs to Lindsay. (Thanks very much, O All-Knowing, All-Reading Friend.) Here are some of the recommendations …

Apartment Hunting by Alison Wilgus

Alison’s was the first stall we’d wandered to and I could not resist her art style and her unique storylines. Of the two short stories (short comics?) that I have of hers, I have to say I prefer Apartment Hunting over Pilgrimage … though really, I could wake up tomorrow and say the opposite. No matter how chilling or sobering her stories her, her artwork is full of warm people and warm colours, and sometimes, warm cats. I’d asked Alison what Apartment Hunting was all about and she just smiled and said, “Apartment hunting!” And honestly, I think that’s the best summary. A rather fast read, but incredible world-building over the few pages. A part of me is hoping for a novel because I can’t get my head out of that setting …

Eth’s Skin by Sfé R. Monster

Okay, actually, this was the first table we headed to. But while Lindsay chatted with Sfé, I was focused on Alison. Of course, as the photograph points out, I did move on to the next table. Funny story: I’d bought stickers from Sfé last year, but I lost the packaging and couldn’t for the life of me remember which webcomic they were from. Recently, Lindsay posted a wonderful list of LGBTQ webcomics and Eth’s Skin was on top of the list. It’s a marvellous story about a genderqueer fisher named Eth whose peaceful water-dwelling life is interrupted when they inadvertently steal a selkie’s skin. As with Alison’s work, the world-building is phenomenal and addictive. The comic is ongoing. (Yes, the wait is agonizing.)

Little Sparrow and the White Tiger by Colin Tan Wei

This is by far my favourite story I’ve read this week. It’s a short story about a girl, Little Sparrow, who is eagerly following in her father’s footsteps of being a brilliant hunter. However, much of her father’s past and her own past is shrouded in mystery, so Little Sparrow embarks on a dangerous personal quest: to uncover her family’s past. Of course, the truth may be what one wants but it isn’t necessarily what one needs … There was something about the story that felt oddly masculine. It felt like I was reading the making of a hero. But at its centre is this little girl. She’s brave and strong and just a little foolhardy. I loved her instantly. I so hope there are more Little Sparrow stories to come. I’m dreaming of filling up my shelf with a stack of slim volumes like this one.

Center for Otherworld Science by Shing Yin Khor

Okay, I walked by this table so many times, it’s ridiculous. It was only the last time I walked by that I realized I had seen those tiny suited people on Tumblr. The art is so bright and the creatures so cute and odd, I couldn’t resist. This first chapter is a basic introduction to this otherworld, its oddities, and its perils. Like all good speculative fiction, it is a mirror of our lives, doesn’t matter if you’re looking at the creatures or the people.

Inspector Pancakes by Karla Pacheco

I mean, it has a dog on it! Of course I went for this! Basically, for kids, Inspector Pancakes is a very American dog who helps the President of France find his croissant. For the adults who read the small print footnotes, Inspector Pancakes is a foul-tempered detective who is tracking a very Jack the Ripper-esque killer. It is, frankly, chilling to have this very adult story juxtaposed with the bright, happy kid’s story …  and obviously, this means I will cherish this book for all time.

Fatal Flower Garden by Pam Wishbow

I had no idea that Fatal Flower Garden was a folk song. All I wanted to know was how a flower garden could be fatal. Turns out, flower gardens are just flower gardens. Turns out, it’s something else entirely. *happy shudder* Such a deliciously creepy little book! With such lovely illustrations! I loved it. I don’t think you can read this one online, but you can look at Pam’s art. It is all very gorgeous.

Bite Me! by Dylan Meconis

This one was recommended to me by Janet and I saw Dylan’s table and this happened. It’s basically the French Revolution with vampires (because, you know, things weren’t complicated enough) and if you want to know more, I recommend looking up Janet’s post here. Doesn’t matter if you don’t like history, vampires, or comics. You like to laugh? Pick. This. One. Up. (And yes, Janet, I’ll lend it to you ASAP.)

Les Normaux by Knight JJ and Al

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This is mainly Lindsay’s recommendation. I’ve only just started reading it, but I love it so much. It shouldn’t be legal to write characters this compelling. Here’s the summary:

Les Normaux follows the life of a bunch of supernatural beings living in Paris after a human wizard named Sebastien moved to the city. They each tell their own side of the story in their respective diaries. — [X]

It’s all online. It’s all beautiful. If you like urban fantasy, this is the story for you.

Since this is reverse crossover month, I guess I should mention that I don’t think kids would pick any of these up. Maybe Eth’s Skin and Little Sparrow, but mainly, I think these will appeal to those in their late teens and older. *shrug* I could be wrong. It depends on how comfortable you are with (subtle) gore and (not-so-subtle) sexy times. ^_^

So have you guys been reading anything interesting? Comics? Webcomics? Something illustrated? *props chin on hands* Tell us in the comments!