Strong Female Protagonist


What if, even with your superpowers, you know you haven’t made the world a better place?

My friends Molly and Brennan have been making Strong Female Protagonist for the past two years.  It’s a super-sweet webcomic which (as they put it in their byline) follows a young middle-class American with super-strength, invincibility, and a crippling sense of social injustice.  When I first read it, I loved it so much that I went through all of it in under two weeks.  And now they’re using Kickstarter to fund the printing of the first four chapters as a physical book.

By the time of this posting, they’ve already blown way past their original goal.  This isn’t really a review, and I’m not writing this to tell you that they need your support (though I’m sure they’d love it).  I’m writing this to tell you that you should take a look at this excellent webcomic and pitch in for your own copy of it.  I’m certainly getting a copy.  Enjoy!


More Pretty Pictures: Kyle Perler’s Photos


We interrupt our normal programming to bring you more news of pretty things that my friends are making.  My sometime-housemate Kyle Perler is an awesome photographer, and he has recently created a Kickstarter project to fund a photo-trip to Africa.  He’s aiming to make a book from the photos that he takes on this trip, focusing on the landscape and wildlife of Africa, but the really cool thing that he’s offering is access to a travel blog with all the pictures that he takes.

He’s planning to, amongst other things, go on safari and go bird-watching.  He’s already been catching photos like this one:


If you like pretty pictures, or just really awesome photos, check out his project.  You might also look up some of his other work.  I strongly recommend looking through some of his galleries there, especially the “Fine Art” one.  His portraits are also totally worth a look.  It’s great having talented friends.

Julia Griffin’s Retelling of The Snow Queen


Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you Julia Griffin’s Snow Queen.

I admit it: I’ve long been a fan of pretty pictures.  It’s no surprise, then, that I’m a fan of Julia Griffin’s work.  For example, I just cannot get over this kid’s hair.  The fine detail, the shimmer of light, and the delicacy of each strand seems incredible.  And the Snow Queen’s fur stole is similarly impressive; I feel like I’m looking at the fur of one of my ferrets.

Done entirely in colored pencils, this is just one of many images created by my friend Julia Griffin for her retelling of Hans Christian Andersen’s Snow Queen.  She’s been working on this project for the past three years, and the time has finally come for her to turn her collection of images into a book.  If you like that picture, or if you like stories about young heroines, or even if you just like the idea having a pretty picture book, you should check out Julia’s Kickstarter project.

You want to see more art?  There’s more good stuff where this came from:

6c776f78a3e3e8b3da6790fd04c21dc3_largeI continue to be amazed by the semi-stippled effect she’s created, as well as by her impressive attention to detail.

You know, I was going to wax loquacious about how cool I think this stuff is, but I think I’ll just let the pictures speak for themselves.  You should totally check out Julia’s work, and take a look at Julia’s Snow Queen.

You can see some of Julia’s other work here.

Cartozia Tales


Quick disclaimer: I received my copy of the first issue as a review submission, and am friends with Lucy Bellwood, one of the excellent artists on the project.

Cartozia Tales is the collaborative creation of a group of indy cartoonists, with two issues out and another eight to come pending a successful Kickstarter project.  It explores the world of Cartozia by offering stories from all over the map… literally.  One of the central conceits of the project is that each of the artist teams will create stories from a randomly chosen location in the world of Cartozia, with the eventual goal of having every artist tell a story from every section of the world.

The world itself is filled out in promising detail on a map in the center of the first issue (like that pretty one up above).  Your initial introduction to the material is offered by a young cartographer named Shreya, who travels around the world of Cartozia mapping it out and collecting stories.  These stories are all designed to be accessible to young readers, and as such they are short, move quickly, and don’t require an extensive background vocabulary.  But leaving it at that doesn’t do full justice to the content; a number of the stories were just as deep and engaging as I would hope something aimed at an older audience to be, and the stories that didn’t quite hit that note felt like they promised to do so within the next few episodes.

The art changes from one story to the next as different artists take the reins, offering a wide variety of styles in a medium that is more often denoted by much larger uniform chunks.  I am of course quite partial to Lucy’s work, but I found several new artists that I expect to look up once I’ve finished writing this post (never mind, I couldn’t resist and already looked them up).  Simply put, I quite like this project and I’m looking forward to reading the next issue.  I highly recommend that you check it out, and contribute to their Kickstarter if you like what you see.