This month we bring you the fantastic! Worlds that challenge our imaginations and our belief in magic and mythology. As always, each selection in this edition is an example of an independent artist at the top of their game. They represent in the great tradition of Tolkien and L. Frank Baum, building spellbinding worlds and memorable characters that you may not have heard of – until now. Enjoy!
All indie. All Awesome
The Golden Sparrow by Daniel Stessen and Michael Garza
In this unique urban fantasy, artists fight to keep their color from being stolen by the beautiful and nefarious Golden Sparrow. This one definitely has a “Sin City” vibe to it. Trippy with lots of cool attitude! Check it out here.
Water Lily – The Birth of A Lotus by Justine Cunha, Alexandra Batina, Clémentine Delcourt, Margaux Lahuppe, Pascal Miller
In this hauntingly beautiful tale, we discover the cost of two worlds colliding and the redemptive power of creation. We don’t want to ruin it. See for yourself here.
As you might guess, artist extraordinaire, Stephen Najarian is a Game of Thrones fan. When we met him last year at AwesomeCon DC, we geeked out about the show, the books, and all the theories to be had on “what happens next” in the series. His body of work includes original art as well as fan pieces from Star Wars. Check it all out here.
With 21 issues under its belt, 18 Days is the story of good versus evil showcased in this amazing redux of a classic Indian myth, the Mahabharata. Published by Graphic India and backed by famed writer Grant Morrison, 18 Days is epic brother vs. brother, high court intrigue and drama, massive battles, and super magical weapons told with a rotating team of artists who capture the aesthetic of the culture with a twist of sci-fi. I think that’s why this book resonates so much with me. While the battle takes place over 18 days, we are shown in flashbacks the events and important choices the characters made to bring them to each tipping point. To purchase your copy, click here.
Starting with Battlecats. Five warriors tasked with protecting their kingdom on an anthropomorphic world, where the ruling class is chosen by The Lion God. This comic is reminiscent of some “Other” Cats only in that they are both warrior cats. What Battlecats does in the first issue to make us forget those “other” Cats is to take us on a deep dive into the world of Valderia, giving us a solid creation myth and social structure, along with the history and geography of Valderia. Currently, on its 4th issue, we’ve seen our heroes story has begun to uncover a great conspiracy, hinted at dark secrets and betrayals, and laid the groundwork for the evil rebellion. With slick art and very straightforward storytelling, the creative team is good at getting out of the way and letting the fight scenes speak for themselves. To purchase a copy, click here.
The Seedbearing Prince (Book 1) by DaVaun Sanders is a 3-book series that lays out the hero’s journey without retreading thousands of previous steps. Great worldbuilding, great action, loads of fun, and—something you don’t get very often in fantasy—a real sense of community make this a tale fit for everybody ready for a good journey.
Every now and then a book makes you feel like a happy kid at story time when the concerns of the world fall away and all you need is the magic that comes with “Once upon a time…” The Poppet and the Lune by Madeline Claire Franklin does just that. This book is an assured gem of storytelling, one you’ll want to find someone to read aloud to on a quiet, perfect night.
Described as “a contemporary fantasy where reality TV heroes slay actual monsters and the gods have their own Twitter feeds” Zeus Is Dead: A Monstrously Inconvenient Adventure is Michael Munz’s pitch-perfect take on the fantasies we cling to and the myths that advise us that maybe we’re better off letting go. “The question of who killed Zeus is unimportant.Trouble neither us nor yourselves further with this. It is only for you to know that the gods of Olympus have returned.” “’Cept I’d also add that it was me. Next question?” – Hera and Ares (live press conference, June 18, 2009)