Catch a CAB...and see Turbitt, Seneca, Westvind, Breakdown Press, and Negative Pleasure

Comics Arts Brooklyn is almost here! If you're able to make it, here are some suggestions on creators and publishers you should look up when you get there. Look for more entries at this tag.

Pound for pound CAB is the best comics show in the country.  It's 100% currated which may be frustrating to artists left out or to folks who's taste doesn't line up with the vision of the show's organizer (Desert Island's Gabe Fowler). But good news - neither of those are me.

Here are the top five comics I'm planning on tracking down...

"The Man Next Door" by Masahiko Matsumoto (Breakdown Press)

Breakdown Press is debuting several books at CAB ("Generous Bosom" by Conor Stechschulte, "Janus" by Lala Albert, and "Syndicalismo 89" by Ines Estrada).  "The Man Next Door" is not debuting at CAB since it is technically already available, but it's still new and importing this from the UK is not cheap.  The Japanese translation work of Ryan Holmberg and his associated research that he publishes at TCJ to accompany the publication of these books are the most exciting things happening in comics right now.

"Teach Me How To Be a God" by Meghan Turbitt

Meghan Turbitt has promised that her new mini-comic would be "about Kanye teaching me how to be a god at CAB." The most consistently funny cartoonist working today, her "break through" came earlier this year with her one-artist anthology "#FoodPorn", which was a collection of comics related to escalating sexual encounters with men preparing food for her.  She has released several minis since then, including one profiled in our "October Small Press Picks."

Her self-professed closest artistic influences are Lauren Weinstein and Ariel Schrag but her line is both sloppier in a pure draftmanship way, and more considered in a mark making / artistic way.  There is a deliberateness to her flattened out perspectives and collage like "panel" layout that is more closely aligned with fine art than the more traditional bio comics of her cartooning influences.  Very excited to check out every new thing from her.

"Death Comix" by Matt Seneca (Self published)

Three new short horror stories by Matt Seneca who I know mostly from the Comics Books Are Burning In Hell podcast. His previous comics have often dealt with young, attractive, and shallow people and the drug use, violence, and torture they get mixed up in.  Horror seems like a decent description of what he has already been doing, so I'm interested in seeing what he gets up to with these stories.

"Jeans" #3 by VA (Negative Pleasure Publications)

Negative Pleasure recently released an anthology of crime comics called "Felony Comics" that may be the best anthology of 2014.  The quality was great across the board and thematic consistency was unusually high.  There wasn't a weak piece in the book.  There was a Lale Westvind piece in there called "Slippery Seats" where a young woman dons a over-sized bobble-head mask to disguise herself while she steals pieces of leather upholostry from luxury cars around the city.  It culminates with a high speed chase in bi-planes and a crash into a dark, frothy sea.  Westvind has a prediliction for shattering glass and action scenes where chunky objects in motion fill up the panel and even though this piece is more overtly poltical than most of her work she still gets these in there.

Westvind isn't in the new Jeans anthology, but Pete Toms, Victor Kerlow, Jason Murphy, and others are.  The stregth of Negative Pleasure's anthologies are due in no small part to Smith's editorial vision and his ability to pull together such good talent.  This will be worth picking up.

"Now and Here" #3 by Lale Westvind (self published)

Lale Westvind isn't in the new "Jeans" anthology but she will have a new issue of her "Now and Here" series.  This has historically been her more experimental and less narrative heavy series, so I expect that to continue here.