If you haven’t heard, SYFY WIRE (including some of your favorite FANGRRLS) are heading to the Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo (C2E2) this weekend. C2E2 is one of the largest conventions in the Midwest, drawing talented creators from across the country and the whole world.
If you’ve never been to a comic book convention before, then you might not be aware that one of the most interesting — and most intimidating — areas of the convention floor is known as Artist Alley, a room packed full of independent artists and writers showing off their creator-owned work. Convention attendees looking to discover some of the hidden gems of the independent comics market flock here at every event, but how do you know what to look out for? Well, if you’re heading to C2E2 this weekend, we’ve got you covered. Here are a few highlights you’ll be able to find on the convention floor. And don’t worry if you aren’t going to make it to Chicago — most of these are also available online.
Return of the Dapper Men
This is one of the older entries on the list, but the 2010 release is so popular it’s hitting the convention floor in a brand-new edition, all in anticipation of the long-awaited sequel on its way next year. An Eisner Award winner for Best Graphic Novel, Return of the Dapper Men tells the story of Ayden and Zoe, a boy and his robot friend, who go in search of what is missing in their strange society where time means nothing. They get their chance when 314 identical men in green bowler hats fall from the sky like very fancy rain. You can find this book with artist Janet Lee at Booth I16.
We all know the story of the One Thousand and One Arabian Nights, where a young woman weaves fantastic tales in hopes of surviving until the next day. In 1001, Sanya Anwar reimagines the story of Scherezade, the heroine of the classic tale, as she uses her imagination to survive a mad and murderous king. The first three issues can be read in digital format by visiting Anwar’s website, or you can pick up physical copies at booth E1.
Our Super Adventure
If you’re looking for a cute and strange slice-of-life comic about living with four cats (and a boy), then check out Our Super Adventure. The printed edition collects 200 of the webcomic strips, and it’s the perfect way to get to know creator Sarah Graley before her Oni Press title, Kim Reaper, makes its way to your pull list. Check her out at Booth T9.
If a cute and cuddly story about animals isn’t for you, perhaps I can interest you in a grim and gritty tale of animals making their way in a world suddenly devoid of humans. Squarriors tells the story of several clans of newly intelligent animals living in this world, building tribes and societies and inevitably ending up in ultra-violent clashes with each other as their various belief systems come into conflict. But what happened to the humans? And can it also happen to the new rulers of Earth? You can check out this fascinating take on the animal kingdom with artist Ashley Witter and creator Ash Maczko at Booth S6.
The same team is also bringing more of their work to C2E2, including Scorch, the story of a demon living out their immortal life as a teenage girl in the suburbs. The demon who helped give her this gift is currently living as a monster in her closet, and while her demonic issues might seem like her biggest problems, Scorch also has to deal with the horrors of passing 10th grade. And as we all know, high school is hell.
Zero: An Indian Aliens Adventure
Charbak Dipta is an Indian-born illustrator and graphic storyteller. His second book, Zero: An Indian Aliens Adventure, spawned out of a series of artwork he did parodying elements of life in his home country, using alien characters and otherworldly settings to poke fun at traditional Indian experiences. The book follows the adventures of the series’ main characters, a married couple. You can check it out, along with other artwork from Dipta, at Booth O11A.
FHTAGN and LOATHING
What do you get when you combine stoner comedy and the horrors of H.P. Lovecraft’s Eldrich mythos? Apparently, you get FHTAGN and LOATHING, a graphic novel from Marie Enger. According to the creator, this series is for anyone who has “ever read a Lovecraft book and thought, ‘Man, I wish this had pictures and was actually about three friends who get so high they end up in an Eldrich dimension.’” You can pick up the first issue at Booth I13.