Alterna Comics, champions of indie comics, are due to release a second Anthology project based on the theme of Super Powers, that comprises over 100 creators from across the medium, 40 Story’s and a whopping 384 pages. It’s currently in the midst of it’s Kickstarter campaign. Peter Simeti (founder of Alterna) has kindly given The Werd access to a copy, and here’s Joe to sound off why you should consider picking up the “IF Anthology 2016″…
As with every anthology series, there’s always parts that you enjoy more than others. And the “IF Anthology 2016” is no exception here, there are definitely weaker parts to it’s mammoth 384 pages. But, that’s to be expected, and I’m not here to talk about those parts. Because there were parts that I believe were very effective in exploring the theme of: Super Hero.
The stories I absolutely loved here;
Gravity by Kerrie Smith & Hannah Deacon, this is my absolute favorite story out of the bunch, the art style is on point, in a simple done well way. I love that the Super Power here is suggested as a feeling inside when you meet the right person in your life. It’s an uplifting tale that feels very personal, and packs a lot of emotion into a small amount of pages.
Martyr by Edwin Lopez & Robert Matluko couples the stylings of artists like Herge with an incredibly relevant Superhero genesis set in the middle east. I won’t spoil it, but sufficed to say the story within is an extremely interesting notion.
For Goodness Sake by Tim Shinn is a small story with a pleasing fake out at the end, but what really sticks with me is the highly stylised linework. Almost to the level of Genndy Tartakovsky.
The Maddening Sound by Peter Simeti & Michael Oppenhiemer, was up my street, as it shows how the sheer pressure of being a ‘Superhero’ can break someone and turn heroism on it’s head, The art is extremely evocative and painterly in a way that conveys a sense of madness that pairs with the narrative.
The Empty Lot by Pat Shand, Manuel Preitano & Jim Campbell is one of my favorite stories in the anthology. The art style is cutesy and easy on the eye, and the story, while simple, is engaging. It has the feel of a Pixar short, there’s the same trademark sweetness and stylistic similarities.
Homeade Heroes by Peter Simeti & Mark Gilchrist is a nice tale about being different and the pain of school bullying that uses the tropes of the Superhero to convey the message that everything will be okay in the end, and that these growing pains are temporary.
There are many more just waiting to be explored, God of War (One of the larger stories in this collection, and one of the most beautiful to look at) by Alexander Altman & Gianmarco Veronesi, Sideshow by Lea J. Zimmt & Anna Wieszczyk, Stanley The Snowman by Austin Janowsky & Cayce Moyer to name a few.
Despite not mentioning every single story that I enjoyed, I feel like it’s important to point out that the book – as an entirety – is worth the price (Currently sitting at $14.99), and as an annual that collects these people, creators, ideas and distills them into an artifact of Indie Comics, which, for me, is an important – almost educational – tool in showcasing just how the medium can be used. On the one hand, this serves as a compendium for new readers to be exposed to comics of different genre’s within the trope of super-heroism, and on the other, it then gives them an idea of what genre their own interest perhaps lies in outside of the old hat idea of comics being aimed at boys of a certain age who are only interested in characters punching each other.
“IF Anthology 2016” is due out on November 30th.
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Joe Crouch is a crusty mollusc with delusions of grandeur and pretensions of artistic endeavour. His tea is served between two and four. He tweets, infrequently @Grost and Instagrams his food @Sourcrouch.