SPX Spotlight 2015: Claire Connelly

It's another entry in Panel Patter's SPX SPOTLIGHT series! We've been highlighting creators, publishers, and comics related to SPX since the site opened in 2008, but 2015 marks our fifth year of extensive coverage that is unlike what you'll find elsewhere! It's a great way to create your own personal guide for the show on September 19th and 20th, 2015, in Bethesda, Maryland. Don't miss it! You can find all our SPX SPOTLIGHT posts here.

Do you remember that kid in middle school? The quiet one who was always drawing instead of paying attention and would get really excited for art class? There’s always a kid like that, someone who shows talent and excitement for art early on, who will make something of themselves if they can find just a little bit of intense dedication as they get older. That’s the kid that you always wonder, what happened to them? Did they make it? Are they living a glamorous art life filled with pencils and fancy mustaches while I sit at my desk job thinking about how bad this chair is for my back?

Well, friends, when you take that quiet kid from middle school and send them to art school and show them the mighty and majestic world of comics, who you’re going to get is Claire Connelly. Although I cannot speak to how glamorous and mustache filled her life may currently be, I expect to see her name more often as time goes on. Already, she pops up on Comixology, and my Twitter and Tumblr feeds show me that she’s working hard every day. Claire breathes and thinks illustration, and so far, it’s working out for her pretty well.

 One of the remarkable things about Claire Connelly is the sheer amount of work she puts out. She is always working, always posting about her work. When she isn’t doing comics, she’s drawing, painting, doing commissions – forever making art and getting better and better. Her style is reminiscent of Jeff Lemire, but a little darker, a little stockier, a little more on the fantastic side, with a certain underlying sense of unease. A lot of Connelly’s work is dark sci-fi/fantasy, and she is very good at it. Her monsters are strange and uncomfortable and her storytelling is spooky – I would love to see her try her hand at some weird cosmic horror.

When I have seen Claire Connelly at shows before she had a large amount of books with her, all hand made and all very fun. I expect this year will be the same. Claire will likely be selling copies of her graphic novel Here, as well as her collection of shorts Down With The Ship, if you’re looking for a bigger book, and will be premiering print copies of one of her newer color works, Phantom Harvest at the show. You will be able to find Claire Connelly at SPX on September 19th and 20th at table J1A.

You can find Claire online on Tumblr, Twitter, and her website, where you can read all of her comics for free.