Yesterday I received quite the treat. The new Shortbox – the only Shortbox for 2020. Created by cartoonist and commentator Zainab Akhtar, they regularly publish a curated selection of commissioned small press comic books from a variety of creators and then package and deliver them with a print, a sticker and some sweets/candy in a manner that looks a lot like Loot Crate subscription boxes but isn't.
After the sherbert Dib Dab, it starts with a print.
'Time will tell' fabric screenprint by Jillian Tamaki. This oversized screenprinted patch measures 20x20cm, and is exclusive to the box (won't be available at any later point or for individual sale- this is the only way to get one). We love the idea of a unique fabric piece that can be framed, quilted, sewn in to a jacket or tote, mini-pennant, bunting, or whatever use you come up with.
Pippette and Dudley's Charming Dog Adventure by Charlotte Mei. Colour, 60pp, perfect-bound. Micro-influencer and regional princess Pipette is growing tired of her domestic life and virtual duty, and decides instead to participate in an 'eligible bachelor's showcase.' As Pipette spends more and more time with DJ Prince Kyle, her darling dog and best friend, Dudley. begins to act out, feeling increasingly abandoned. Who will Pipette choose, and will their friendship survive?
Interim by Allissa Chan. Colour, 40pp, gold emboss cover, saddle-stitched. A star falls in a strange, empty city, but finds itself trapped and unable to escape. As the city shifts and remakes itself, the star joins forces with an indomitable crow in a bid to gain both their freedoms.
Outspace by Núria Martinez. Colour, 36pp, saddle-stitched. Outspace is the hot, shiny, new game-of-the-moment, and after being recommended it by a friend, Erin decides to give it a go. Initially sceptical, she soon finds herself engrossed to the point where she real-life and virtual reality begin to blur… Or is she just imagining it?
Dead End Jobs for Ghosts by Aminder Dhaliwal. 44pp, saddle-stitched. What happens when we die? In this pithy new satire on the spookiness of capitalism and the culture of working til you drop (and beyond!), Aminder Dhaliwal answers that eternal question, charting the secret history of Spectreworks Inc., and the deal struck between humans and ghosts to build a spectral workforce via automation- with jobs to suit every ghost!
She Would Feel the Same by Emma Hunsinger. 80pp, perfect-bound. Chloe and Phoebe's relationship has ended, amicably. Nobody instigated the breakup, they both felt it was time to move on. So why can't Chloe stop thinking about it: how neat and civilised it all was? Is it normal to just suddenly stop loving someone who meant so much to you? Is that… it? An unmissable debut comic work from a formidable up-and-coming comics talent.
And a look at everything therein.
Good luck finding these anywhere else.