This week’s Flame Con comic wrap-up includes a number of short or mini comics that again are from a variety of genres. Each of these books is a bit smaller than a standard comic and one is even pocket sized so you could carry it around with you and read it whenever you want. While I might not have links for everything keep an eye out for all of these comics online as many of these creators have other work or are part of other projects.
Steenz is a creator I had seen before in another book and I was stoked to see a fan homage being done for a series I grew up with at Flame Con. Encyclopedia Brown is a character who has been published and republished for years, and Steenz has created a small fan story called Encyclopedia Brown and The Case of the Muscle Maker where Encyclopedia is a young girl of color. Much like the original books, this story focuses on one mystery and provides readers with a solution at the very end. This quick little read is perfect for fans of the original and showcases Steenz’s great art skills.
Wolf Knight and The Star Keeper is a mini comic from Michi which is being expanded into a larger comic. This mini comic introduces us to a future world where humans are destroying everything in sight and in order to save it a child who was raised by Flora Knights, who were sworn to protect the earth, is sent out to find star light and a red knight. In this journey we meet a character who uses the identifying pronoun they and the adventuring lead is a woman of color. The art is beautiful and so well done with the dialogue being placed throughout each of the pages. As a teaser comic for a larger story this was a wonderfully well done set up.
Liam Donnelly had a number of mini comics on his table at Flame Con and I wound up picking up his first book, Untitled Sad Gay Boy Comic. This story follows a nameless male protagonist who has decided to go to a queer party that he has been invited too in the hopes that for the first time he will find someone. He has never really partied and he has tried so hard to impress, but the party scene unnerves him. This brief little vignette is a perfect slice of life that showcases someone coming into their identity and looking to connect with someone. The art is also well done and well colored with rich night tones and diverse characters.
Hunter’s Mark is a mini comic from Nicole Fieger that reminds me of some of my favorite reads, Raven: The Pirate Princess and Rat Queens specifically. While her characters do not have names a bounty hunter, who is a woman of color, has been following and sparring with a red haired woman who seems to be some sort of magical being. The two have fought and also saved each other and as their story unfolds the hunter must choose her love for this woman over the bounty. The art in this book is so fluid and vivid, with colors adding to the mythical setting. This book also contains a very cute kiss panel.
Clare DeZutti’s mini book Six a.m. Saturday is a brief slice of life story that initially seems like just two women getting ready for their day, until something out of the ordinary starts. One of the women it appears is a witch and she has to make a call to something not exactly human. She is working at her alter, but has also made her significant other coffee to start the day. While it is short the characters and their emotions are so well presented and I would read even more about them if more books exist.
The first chapter of Dream Crasher, Creature’s Keeper focuses on Amalie, a 12 year old who lives alone with a beast she calls Creature. While she doesn’t know what he is, she does know that he has eyes like her Papa’s. They have been working together to survive the long winter, but Amalie is surprised when Creature returns home with a living human boy. This horror work shows children trying to survive in a world that has drastically changed. The young boy can’t remember his mother and by the end of this story Amalie is sure that the monster she’s been with is somehow her Papa. Neither knows yet how this could be the case, but something is obviously wrong with the world around them. The art in this book is entirely in black and white and is eerie and frightening. It reminds me a bit of Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark in terms of light and shadow and Creature is a frightening beast that never seems fully solid. This is definitely a great read for horror fans.
My Werewolf Boyfriend is a sketch zine from Angeli Rafer who had a plethora of work to choose from at her booth. Naoto is a werewolf and he is dating Ren, who isn’t exactly human, but isn’t a were. Rafer sets them up with cute profile pages. Each little scene and the art inside is so funny and sweet. This couple is absolutely adorable and I need to start following her so I can see even more of her work, especially focused on these two. She takes moments like cuddling with your partner and shows how this changes when one of you can become a giant wolf. This one was just so cute that I will totally be reading through it again.
That’s it for the smaller books and the next few weeks will focus on graphic novels and books that I picked up on the Flame Con floor. Again, keep an eye out for all of these creators online.