This Month @ SOLRAD: September 2020

One of the downsides to living in the midst of a global pandemic is that you can’t really go out and do the things you want to do, like, for instance, going to the Small Press Expo in North Bethesda, Maryland. The same could be said for other small press and alternative comics expos that all went away in 2020. While we’ll all miss SPX, keep your eyes peeled here on SOLRAD since we’ll be doing some assisting with programming for the 2020 virtual show. 

One of the benefits to having these virtual shows is a bevy of great interviews and videos which would generally only be captured in small conference rooms in the past. I would encourage you to check out the SOL-CON Summer Series of videos, which you can find on YouTube, and The Believer Mag’s series of live-videos with cartoonists like Ben Passmore, Kate Lacour, Whit Taylor, and Lawrence Lindell, among others.

This interview with GRASS author Keum Suk Gendry-Kim is also worth a watch.

September is here, which means school is starting back up, including college. College students at local institutions have already told that they will be suspended if they have large parties. The weekend (or maybe weekday) nights of going to a party, pretending to be 21, and getting a beer from a sketchy guy standing next to a keg wedged into a trashcan in a crawl space are probably done for, at least in 2020. Dark days indeed… although, let’s be honest, no one has ever actually enjoyed a kegger.

Speaking of “the college experience,” two major fan studies/comix academics have recently been caught showing their whole asses on a semi-public list-serv, which Kim O’Connor captures here. 

The whole thread is worth reading, and then jump over to the threads from the women whose work is mentioned by these guys. I don’t have much to say here that hasn’t already been more eloquently said, but it’s worth taking a look at.

This month at SOLRAD, we have some exciting new reviews for you, including Sara L. Jewell’s review of Laura Lannes John, Dear which comes to you tomorrow.  We’re also working on some exclusive previews that I think you’ll like, and we’ll have a bevy of new interviews, including one with Julia Gfrörer by our lead critic Ryan Carey.

We’ll also be starting two new SOLRAD Presents comics, starting today with Michael Aushenker’s PELICAN BASTARDS. We’ll be starting another Audra Stang comic, and expect to see more new comics from Lyssa Park’s Phonebook this month!

Unfortunately, the last episode of ENEMIES OF THE STATE was delayed due to recording errors (read: the publisher messed up and only recorded his own audio input). We’re going to re-record the show this month, and our plan is still to talk about Dancing after TEN by Vivian Chong and Georgia Webber, published by Fantagraphics earlier this year. We’ll get back on track, I promise.

You’ll see some new faces join our Contributor team, and we’ll have more cartoonist interviews in SOLRAD Editor Daniel Elkin’s KNOWING IS HALF THE BATTLE series.

Some parting thoughts:

  1. We’re publishing the SOLRAD newsletter every week – if you want a quick and easy way to find out what we’re doing on a weekly basis, with a note from our Editor, this is a way to get that. You can sign up here.
  2. In July we released our pitch and submissions guidelines. If you have ever thought about writing for SOLRAD, we would love to hear from you, especially if you are a LGBTQ+ writer or a writer of color.
    1. We have a specific series that we are looking to build right now of cartoonists of color to interview other cartoonists of color. If this sounds like something interesting to you, please get in touch.
  3. Everyone’s feeling the pinch right now, but if you are gainfully employed and like what we’re doing here at SOLRAD, we’d appreciate you pitching in to support us. Consider a small monthly donation, it will help us keep the site up and running. Thanks!

SOLRAD is made possible by the generous donations of readers like you. Support our Patreon campaign, or make a tax-deductible donation to our publisher, Fieldmouse Press, today.

Alex Hoffman is the Publisher of SOLRAD and the Secretary/Treasurer of its parent nonprofit organization, Fieldmouse Press. He has been a comics critic for Manga Widget, Comics Village, Sequential State, The Comics Journal, Comics MNT, and others.

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