February was weird, right? I can say that pretty confidently. It was weird. We got an extra day in February, and it’s that awful time in the American political process where nothing happens and everyone yells at each other. Wait…
One thing that we’ve heard a lot about during February is the spread of the novel coronavirus COVID-19. There’s not a ton of active infections in the USA or Canada, but elsewhere in the world new infections are rising. Large events, including comics conventions in Japan and hobby conventions in Europe have been canceled in order to reduce the risk of contamination and spread of the disease. If these same concerns continue to increase, some of independent comics’ major festivals, like MOCCA, TCAF, and CAKE may be affected. While there’s no need to get flustered at this point, it’s something that organizers should be thinking about, and, if you are an artist tabling at one of these festivals, something you may be inclined to ask about. We’ll keep you updated as things progress, but you should also keep your eyes peeled, dear reader.
Wow, what a bummer. Somebody get the hook and drag this guy off stage.
Winter is almost over, but it’s not over yet. While we wait for the spring to arrive, we’ll be digging into some more excellent comics, with new reviews, comics, essays, and features. This week, SOLRAD jumps into its third official month of publication, and we’re more excited than ever about what we’re up to.
Since we’re two months into our publication history, now is a great time for me to ask you two favors:
First – shoot me an email with your feedback for the site. You can get ahold of me at firstname.lastname@example.org → let me know what you like, or think we can do better.
Second – help me keep this boat afloat.
SOLRAD is the first publishing venture from our 501(c)(3) nonprofit called Fieldmouse Press. We’re able to bring you great comics criticism, comics journalism, new comics, podcasts, and everything else we are working on because of generous donations from readers like you. If you are a regular reader, please show your support by making a monthly sustaining donation to Fieldmouse Press.
Monthly donations will go a long way to making sure we can keep the lights on and keep paying talented folks for the work they do. If you send money to artists on Patreon, consider doing the same for us – and, since we are a nonprofit organization, your donation is tax-deductible.
Here’s a quick preview of what’s coming down the pike:
- We are enormously proud of the work we published in February. We published the work of nine writers new to the site, including several excellent pieces by writers new to criticism. In that spirit, we will have reviews and essays from another five new contributors this month.
- Later this week, we’ll have the next episode of ENEMIES OF THE STATE; this episode will feature the fantastic and sorrowful The Tenderness of Stones by Marion Fayolle, published in 2019 by New York Review Comics.
- In March, SOLRAD will have a single themed week. We are excited to delve into the complex and beautiful world of comics poetry. We will have reviews about work from John Hankiewicz, Kevin Czap, Xia Gordon, the Inkbrick anthology, and more.
- Casey Nowak returns with their reaction to the latest volume of Best American Comics, which was guest-edited by Jillian Tamaki. Casey’s close reading of the science-fiction story in Rusty Brown was sharp and their personal reaction to the story was wonderfully vivid, so readers should be in for a treat here.
- We are privileged to run Ibrahim Ineke’s comics essay on horror this month. He’s been quietly producing disturbing and intelligent comics in the Netherlands for years, and we are excited to share his work with a wider audience.
- Paloma Hernando makes her SOLRAD debut with what will hopefully be a regular feature on the most interesting webcomics work currently being published.
- Another newcomer, Emil Wilson, makes his debut interviewing his fellow Center For Cartoon Studies classmate, Emma Hunsinger. Hunsinger rightfully received a lot of acclaim for her New Yorker piece, “How To Draw A Horse.” That story only scratched the surface of her potential, and Wilson goes deep in discussing her career from the point of view as a fellow student.
- Another new face for SOLRAD is Sara Jewell. Listeners of our Enemies Of The State podcast will know her well. She’s following up her appearance on our discussion of Kelsey Wroten’s Cannonball with her own reaction, from the point of view who has several things in common with the story’s protagonist.
We’ve got a few other things coming that are still under wraps but check back every weekday for new content. While we work to put out the flames of a world on fire, there’s solace to be found in art.