September 12, 2013

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SPX Spotlight 2013: Vanessa Satone

Welcome to another entry in the 2013 SPX Spotlight series!  For the next month, I'll be highlighting creators and publishers who will be at the best convention, the Small Press Expo.  You can check out all of my spotlights for SPX from both this year and prior years here.

Today's SPX Spotlight is on two mini-comics from a creator I discovered out of the Womanthology book. That collection had its issues, but served as a way for me to find new creators to look for. Satone was one of them.

The paranormal becomes the normal in these two mini-comics from Vanessa Satone.  Domestic Disputes shows why choosing an alien roommate can be a bad idea, while Bait for the Beast of the Deep examines the perils of potential inter-species dating.  Both comics are on the short side, but they feature strong, well-designed visuals and witty dialog that make for enjoyable reading.

Of the two comics, Domestic Disputes is my favorite.  Split into two short stories, Sue, our everyman character, must deal with alien roommate, who is fussy, furious, and carries a faulty death ray that he isn’t afraid to use—if he can get it to work.  They argue over common roommate issues—cleanliness, bills, damages—but because of the nature of the relationship, these disputes become extremely funny, such as when the alien, who has made a resurrection device, complains that the true reason why the electric bill is high is due to leaving the lights on at night.

Bait for the Beast of the Deep is the more visually interesting, with some strong character designs for a world where mer-people live in a water apartment in a major city.  (The background scene where a fish is drinking coffee in the middle of this deep pool cracks me up every time I look at it.)  It also features more sharply defined character profiles and expressive faces.  The story, however, isn’t quite as clever, as the short is a setup for a relationship joke, and those just aren’t as a funny to me.


Vanessa Satone is a very talented creator and was a participant in the Womanthology project.  Based on these comics, she’s got a bright future and is definitely worth seeking out at SPX.  Satone and her comics are exactly the kind of thing I enjoy most about going to shows—finding new people to add to my roster of cool creators to look for! 

Stuck fighting monsters and can't make SPX? Well, you can find Vanessa at her website here.