September 4, 2013

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Baltimore Comic-Con Spotlight 2013: Action Lab

One of my favorite publisher logos!
Welcome to another 2013 Baltimore Comic-Con Spotlight entries. Over the course of this week, I will be highlighting creators and publishers who will be at another of my favorite conventions, the Baltimore Comic-ConYou can check out all of my spotlights for the Baltimore Comic-Con from both this year and prior years here.

Action Lab was a publisher before Princeless (and I even read a few of their comics as well), but Jeremy Whitley's story of a young woman who refuses to allow her parents and a male-dominated culture to run her life is the one that put this small publisher on the map.

Since that time, it's been a great progression for Action Lab, adding additional titles, scoring Jamal Ingle's Molly Danger, and merging with another small publisher to form a mature readers line to allow their all-ages work to have clear separation.

These are the things a publisher with a solid plan and a desire to be long-lasting does. They've moved carefully at every step, ensuring that they don't grow too fast or get entangled in ways that could sink their ship. Their comic output is just right, and they do smart things, like recognizing small publishers need to find ways to make their comics look attractive via aggressive publishing and sales.

It also helps that they do pretty good comics.

Just about anything Action Lab does is worth taking a peek at, but I highly recommend Princeless of course (review here), as well as Monsters are Just Like Us (review here) if they have them on hand. For those who like their comics with a raw, satirical edge, Double Jumpers (review here) is a good pick, as is Night of the 80s Undead, which requires a bit of 80s actor knowledge to fully appreciate.

They've also paired up with football for NFL Rush Zone, which was a cute idea that I admit I lost track of. The Free Comic Book Day version definitely sacked NFL Superpro, my last comic with an NFL theme that I read.

It would be a bad idea to lose track of Skyward, the fantasy adventure series that got a big buzz at San Diego. The comic is Action Lab's first ongoing series and it's still in the early stages, so if you like that type of book, it's well worth checking out. Jeremy Dale, Skyward's creator, will be at Baltimore with Action Lab selling and signing the book.

Also at Baltimore for Action Lab will be Shawn Pryor, director of digital distribution and creator of Exo-1 and the Rock Solid Steelbots as well as Chad Cicconi, illustrator of Fracture.  Jamal Ingle also has a signing scheduled. Bill McKay (Night of the 80s Undead) and Brockton McKinney (Ehmm Theory) should be at the show as well.

If you're looking to see what's out there past the big indie publishers, give Action Lab a shot. I think you'll come away as impressed as I am with their work.

Stuck in the lab and can't make Baltimore Comic-Con? The Action Lab website is here and you can find them on Comixology for the digital set, where their back single issues are 99 cents.