Welcome back to SOLRAD! It’s been a while since I’ve updated the publisher’s blog, but we’re fresh off of a two-week vacation, and it felt like a good time to dust it off.
I’m happy to finally share a little news about Fieldmouse Press – we’ll be publishing our first book this year, and will have a Kickstarter that we plan to have live later this month. Keep your eyes peeled here and on social media as we start a new phase in our publishing trajectory. The work, by a veteran cartoonist of the 1990s alt-comics movement, is a project that we’re very excited about. That’s all the teasing I can do right now, but I hope you’ll stay with us!
Since I last reflected on life in the world, a lot has changed (and more has stayed the same). About 42% of the adult population in the USA has been fully vaccinated with some kind of SARS-CoV2 vaccine, and states that had extensive masking requirements are starting to back down. Meanwhile, other parts of the world have seen the devastation of the disease, including India and Brazil, where millions of new cases have been reported in the last week. Developing countries have had little to no access to vaccine as the United States has purchased more than enough doses to vaccinate its entire adult population three times over. Vaccine equity has been thwarted by billionaires and patent laws, and even in the United States, vaccination rates in marginalized communities are much lower compared to their share of cases and total population. This is a statement of fact, and I’ll leave the call to action to folks more qualified. To appropriate the work of Tamsyn Muir – “One flesh, one end.” The pandemic isn’t over for us until it is over for everyone.
The world of comics conventions and gatherings has continued to live in the land of the pushback, as the vast majority of comics shows have announced digital offerings for 2021, including CAKE and SPX. The major exception to this rule is Comic-Con Special Edition, announced for a three-day weekend by Comic-Con International (the folks behind San Diego Comic-Con). We’ll see how smaller independent shows like CXC manage (they’ve announced a blended model without much detail at this point). We sincerely hope for everyone’s safety as we get back to the old way of things over the next weeks and months.
Some other news; our colleagues and friends at PEOW are closing up shop this year. According to Patrick, it’s been on their mind for a while. We wish the guys our best. It’s been a hell of a run.
I’ll also unabashedly plug my friend and the acquisitions editor at SOLRAD, Rob Clough, and his latest project – sliding scale portfolio review, manuscript review, and career advice. Rob has over 20 years of experience in comics, and if you are working on a project and want a critical and supportive eye, he can be that for you.
With a brand new month means brand new features and content. Here are some things you can expect to see in June at SOLRAD:
- The return of a few previous contributors, including Sydney To and Edward Haynes
- An interview between Kristina Stipetic and Zhang Ke
- A new feature from November Garcia!!
- Hard-hitting comics criticism from SOLRAD’s lead critic, Ryan Carey
- New writing from SOLRAD stalwarts Daniel Elkin and Alex Hoffman
- The start of a brand-new SOLRAD Presents comic from Matt MacFarland, which launches on Tuesday 6/8/2021
- The latest episode of ENEMIES OF THE STATE, featuring Hagiwara Rei’s Ripples from Glacier Bay Books
- More Eurocomics coverage from intrepid gumshoe Nicholas Burman
If you are a cartoonist or publisher who wants to get their work reviewed on SOLRAD, please shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wherever you are in the world, I hope you are safe and well.