September 6, 2014

SPX Spotlight 2014: 2D Cloud

Welcome to another entry in the 2014 SPX Spotlight series!  For the next month, Panel Patter will be highlighting creators and publishers who will be at one of the best conventions, the Small Press Expo.  You can check out all of Panel Patter's spotlights for SPX from both this year and prior years here.

There are so many awesome small press companies out there right, which speaks to the health of the comics community and the great diversity in which we live right now, comics-wise. While I know it can't be easy to keep a small press going, I am so happy that folks like 2D Cloud exist, because it's nice to have a wide variety of quality mini-comics and collections covered under one publishing umbrella.

I first became aware of 2D Cloud last year, and I find their work, which ranges from memoir to extremely experimental comics to be of high quality. Publisher Raighne Hogan, who is also a creator himself, has put together a roster that's highlighted by Mari Naomi and Noah Van Sciver, both of whom have new books that will be available at SPX this year. Other creators include Christopher Adams (whose Strong Eye Contact was reviewed by Whit here) and an upcoming book from Andy Burkholder.

A short preview of three of 2D Cloud's books that you can pick up at the show this year:

Dragon's Breath and Other True Stories is a collection of Mari Naomi's autobiographical pieces, most of which appeared at TheRumpus.net. Speaking freely about moments in her life that have stayed with her, both positive and negative, we get a picture of a person who is incredibly human. Whether it's debating which memory to keep of her grandfather (the one that made her happy or the one that is closer to the truth), if she should kick the ass of a former bully when she meets her years later, or what it's like to be a part of relationships going south, these are stories that you can relate to instantly, even if your path didn't take as many turns as Mari's. With art that flows across the page rather than sticking to strict boundaries (matching the creator's personality, I bet), this was a pleasure to read. Look for a full review next week, as we spotlight Mari in her own entry. This one is $24.95, 384 pages, and co-publsihed with Uncivilized Books.

I Don't Hate Your Guts is a memoir of a different kind, as Panel Patter Pal Noah Van Sciver crafts a 30-day diary comic, chronicling his highs and lows as he tries to keep his life in order. He's very honest, which always makes for the best autobio comics, and it's interesting to watch him detail what's going on in the same style he might write about a character in his one-man anthology, Blammo. We will have more to say on this one in a Spotlight as well, also next week. This is 30 pages, in full color, and will be some of the best $5 you spend at SPX this year.




Comets Comets by Blaise Larmee fits more on the experimental side of things for 2D Cloud. The creator interviews two other artists, Hall Hassi & Davidson Middle. As the conversation goes on, normal pencils sketching out the trio are splashed abstractly with color. It comes in blocks of bright shades, marker lines, dark browns that nearly obliterate the page, and generally serve to take the normality of the situation and give the reader something to ponder. Why this color here? Why highlight that person? Why color everyone but one? It's definitely different and won't be for everyone, but it's a good example of the fact that 2D Cloud books often defy expectations. This one is 32 pages and also costs $5.

When you are exploring the many small presses that will be at SPX this year, make sure you stop by 2D Cloud. Pick something familiar or something new, but either way,you'll open yourself up to some great craftsmanship and work!

Can't make SPX? 2D Cloud's website here.