As a BIG fan of self-publishing and enjoying work that I think is original and deserving of more attention, here are some suggestions of other Indie titles (past and present) that I hope others will enjoy!
SIN OF OMNISCIENCE
NEVERMINDS colorist, Danielle Alexis St. Pierre and her husband, Nathan St. Pierre, have jumped into the world of self-publishing with the own company, Odd19. Their first title is the supernatural horror meets psychological suspense story called Sin of Omniscience. Nathan is the writer of the series and Danielle is the artist. The main character, Annabel Logan, is a sophomore at Northbrook University who has been the victim of night terrors since childhood. No longer able to suppress them, Annabel's terrors resurface bringing elements of her nightmares into the waking world! This is a very intriguing story that leaves you guessing what will come next. But you won't be able to figure that out because the St. Pierre's story keeps you on your toes! Nathan and Danielle are easily one of the nicest and hardworking married couples in Indie comics! Danielle and Nathan also contributed to the second SENTINELS ANTHOLOGY! Please learn more about their company and Sin of Omniscience,( as well as their free webcomic, Limited Immunity) at www.odd19.com
TALES FROM THE CORNERSTONE
For me, one of the best things about going to conventions is meeting people and getting a chance to talk to other creators and fans. I met Andrew Charipar at the 2007 NYC Comic Con and we talked a bit about self-publishing. He is the creator, writer, penciller, inker and letterer of Tales from the Cornerstone. I was totally impressed that he had done all of this himself, but I was even more impressed by how GREAT the book was. It's like NYPD Blues meets horror movie meets comedy. It's truly a unique book where werewolves, witches, vampires, zombies and demons all intersect and try to live in the same town as humans. Oh yeah, and there's a detective named Ricky 17 who just happens to be Frankenstein. I can't say enough great things about this book (and its creator, who has not paid me to say any of this). I was also lucky to have Andrew contribute to both the first and second SENTINELS ANTHOLOGY! Please check out Andrew's website to see what you're missing at www.misfitcorner.com
TARA NORMAL AND MR.SCOOTLES
Howard Noeldechen and I met at Mocca Con in NYC back when it was held below Canal Street in an old gallery space. I was immediately drawn to Howie's first series, Mr.Scootles, because of the art. But once I started reading it, I feel in love with the humor and imagination in the book. Chatting with Howie (and his awesome wife, Shelley) was a highlight of that show and we've been friends ever since. I was ever honored to write the foreword for the Mr. Scootles trade collection! Mr.Scootles is the story of two college animation students who find a film reel of a forgotten animated character (Mr. Scootles) and unknowingly set off a chain of events that could lead to Hell on Earth. The book is smart, funny and has the perfect mix of art and story. What becomes of your creations when you abandon them? Find out in Mr. Scootles! And as if that wasn't enough,
Howie created another series called TaraNormal. TaraNormal is a paranormal investigator who solves bizarre, otherworldly mysteries using her supernatural abilities. The book is written and drawn by Howie, just as Mr. Scootles was. And you can read many of Tara's top secret cases for free online. And then go out and buy the book! And I also have to add that Howie wrote one of the stories in the second SENTINELS ANTHOLOGY! Check out Howie and learn more about him and his books at www.hcnoel.com.
QUANTUM: ROCK OF AGES
Philip Clark was one of the first Indie comic creators I met and became friends with when I entered the comic world (he even wrote the first story in the first SENTINELS ANTHOLOGY!). Philip is a super nice guy who has a lot of talent and love for comics (while also being an awesome musician!). With his series, Quantum: Rock of Ages, Philip and co-creator, James Rodriguez, have produced an excellent story of parallel Earths, unlikely heroes and the mysteries of time. The characters were original and exciting, which complimented the fresh story and amazing art. Quantum ran for six issues and was published by Dreamchilde Press before going on hiatus for an undetermined amount of time. I know that the first storyline was intended to run twelve issues and I even did the inking on issue 7 to help them finish it. Unfortunately, that issue was never printed and the series has yet to be completed. I keep hoping Philip and James will surprise everyone and start Quantum back up again! Fingers crossed! If you can find a copy on ebay, amazon or at a comic convention, snap it up quickly! In the meanwhile, check out Philip's music at www.philipclark.com.
Written and drawn by Holly Mongi, Aviary takes place in a world where humans co-exist with a new intelligent species and struggle to reclaim what they have lost. The artwork on this series is AMAZING and very beautiful. I've been a huge fan of Holly's talents for a long time now and it's great to see her work on her own series as both writer and artist. But what's also great about Aviary is that it's got a bit of something in it for everyone. There's action, adventure, intrigue and interesting characters. I'm continually impress with Holly's character work and the expressiveness of her art. I'm also very proud that she was able to contribute to the second SENTINELS ANTHOLOGY. Please check out her website at: www.aviarycomic.com
Publisher and writer Al Dorantes is building his own corner of the indie comic world and showcases his company every year at the Pittsburgh Comicon. A regular at the show and host of the Pittsburgh kickoff party each year, Al is the type of guy everybody knows and admires. With books like Retribution and 6 (pk)/2, Luchador Enterprises has a light hearted, yet serious bunch of books. Retribution is almost classic in its story telling and 6 (pk)/2 is an anthology of stories sure to make you laugh. And then there is Luchador's children books; The Ballad of Rocky the Crab, Monster Truck Mayhem and Black and Gus series. Put them all together and you get an entertaining group of titles that everyone in the family is bound to find something to enjoy. I love Al's work so much, that I was very proud to have him contribute to the second SENTINELS ANTHOLOGY! Learn more about Al and his company at www.luchadorenterprises.com.
ARGO 5 AND SORORITY OF POWER
Dan Sehn is the creator of Argo Comics. The self-published company currently has three titles that include Argo 5, the Argo Anthologyand Sorority of Power. Working along with multiple artists, Dan has continually published all of his titles with energy and excitement. Without a doubt, Dan has the passion needed to go through the pains of self-publishing and his creations are definitely worth checking out. With TONS (and I mean TONS) of characters in the Argo Universe, I'm looking forward to seeing more of them in action. SENTINELS artist, Luciano Vecchio and I were happy to be included along with the SENTINELS in Dan's crossover story in Argo 5 #3. Check it out! www.argocomics.com
T.J. Dort and Joe Haley are the creators of the extremely entertaining, all-ages book, The Underburbs! I was first drawn to The Underburbs because of the styled and clever artistry of T.J. and Joe's convention sketches. After getting a couple of commissions from them, I knew I had to get all of the issues they had out of The Underburbs. The series centers around "Countess" Winifred Pale, a vampire bent on taking over the world with a scroll that turns people into monsters, unfortunately, due to incompetent subordinates and general lack of knowledge about our world, she has yet to succeed. Angela, a human-turned-witch from our world, serves as her sidekick and viewpoint character. The Underburbs has a lot of humor for adults and children in it and once you read the first few pages, you'll be hooked no matter what age you are. But don't just take my word for it, learn more about the series at http://underburbs.deviantart.com/
O-MEN AND SPANDEX
It's always great when you meet a follow self-publisher and not only like them, but you like their work too! That's totally the case with O-Men and Spandex creator, Martin Eden. Martin is the writer, artist, colorist, letterer, editor and promoter of his own titles and also a hell of a nice guy! Martin works harder than most of the creators I know and it shows in his work. Both of his titles have gotten critical acclaim and recognition.
The O Men are a unique group of British superheroes put together by Doctor O from the remains of his previous team, the Psi-Squad. And Spandex is the first completely gay superhero team. Both series are written and drawn by Martin and are available on Comixology or by order through his website at http://spandexcomic.wordpress.com/
At the top of my favorite self-published comic titles list sits Elfquest! It's the first independent comic I ever read and it's one of the books (along with the New Teen Titans) that inspired me to create my own comics. I found Elfquest through promotional images at my local comic store. (Note to comic stores: people notice the posters you place in your store! Support your independent creators!) I kept seeing the amazing art by Wendy Pini and was intrigued enough that I spent my Christmas money that year on the first colorized graphic novel. I was immediately pulled into the world inhabited by Cutter and his pack of Wolfriders and couldn't put the book down! Created by the original indie husband and wife team; Richard and Wendy Pini, Elfquest opened my eyes to an entirely new genre. Anyone who has read the series knows what a labor of love Elfquest is. But not only that, it's also an amazing success story and shows how independent creators can still make it and stay true to their story and vision. Elfquest's original series has a definite ending. It was part of the charms of the book in that you had resolution for the characters and story. A few years later, there would come sequels, prose books, spin-off series, etc.. But none of them ever captured that same magic that the original story had. I can still go back today and reread the original series and fall in love with it all over again. There is a new "finalquest" Elfquest series that has started and is being published by Dark Horse Comics and I'm looking forward to seeing how it will be! Discover the Elfquest series at www.elfquest.com
ORDER OF TALES, VATTU AND RICEBOY
I was fortunate to find Evan Dahm at MOCCA CON in NYC a few years ago. I was intrigued by his unusual art style and the clean presentation of his work and books. I wasn't sure what to make of the his series, Order of Tales, I say that because in all honesty, Evan barely said anything to me as I tried to have a conversation with him and find out more about his work, lol. And I was the only person at his table at the time. I chalked it up to him maybe being nervous or shy, so I decided to take a chance anyway and buy the series. I was really glad I did because I truly enjoyed the series. The art reminded me of Jeff Smith's Bone, but not as stylized. The story, and the fact that Evan was drawing and writing this, really made me feel the style worked perfectly! It would be few years later that I picked up Riceboyand Vattu. With Vattu, Evan has really perfected his art style and also added color to the series. All the series are supposed to take place within the same shared universe and I love that idea. There's a lot of heart in Evan's books and I think anyone who is a fan of independent comics and trying something new will love any of these titles. You can learn more about all of these series and even read Vattu online for free at www.rice-boy.com
STRANGERS IN PARADISE, ECHO AND RACHEL RISING
Written and drawn by Terry Moore, Strangers in Paradise is a true independent comic success story. Unlike some of the other titles listed here, Strangers in Paradise is actually a completed series. The book is full of real relationships and main characters you fall in love with. It's a big epic love story full of adventure and twists that will keep you on the edge of your seat reading it. Terry is a master at storytelling and a true supporter of independent comics.
He is always willing to take the time to talk to fans and other creators and is a classy guy!
If you haven't tried Strangers in Paradise yet, you don't know what you're missing and need to get the first trade immediately! And if you read it already and didn't know, Terry also has two other books, the first is Echo (which is another completed series available in collected form) and the other is the on-going supernatural series, RACHEL RISING. Visit www.terrymooreart.com to learn more!
Poison Elves was created by Drew Hayes, who sadly passed away on March 21, 2007. I was a fan of Poison Elves and I regret that I didn't get to meet Drew and talk to him about independent comics. The fact that he self-published in the 90s and kept at it for over 10 years is impressive. Drew truly created his own world with Poison Elves and his love for comics and his characters are easily seen in every page he wrote and drew. Poison Elves follows the life and times of an elf named Lusiphur as he travels throughout the world. The series is smart, funny, exciting, unpredictable and sometimes a little violent. If you're interested in checking out the work of an Independent creator who passed way too soon, check out Poison Elves. Recently, Drew's family worked with Ape Entertainment to continue Drew's vision and complete the Poison Elves series based on Drew's note and vision. It's not quite the same as when Drew was working on the book, but it's great to see the characters back and have Drew's vision continue! Discover more about Drew Hayes and Poison Elves at
Runners is an awesome SciFi book full of laughs and surprises about a group of alien rogues that operate outside the law. If you're a fan of Star Wars or Firefly, you'll love this book. Sean Wang does the story and art for Runners and his love for the book shows on every page. This is the kind of independent title every comic fan should be supporting. Check out Runners at www.runnersuniverse.com