It is possible that Zainab Akhtar's final curated box of newly published small-press comic books ShortBox may be its most popular yet, approaching a thousand box pre-order on Kickstarter.
Our aim with the box is simple: to present a spectrum of work in a variety of styles and approaches and explore all the many things the comics can be- fun, serious, experimental, gross, moving, gorgeous to look at, informative, scary, delicious, -and the list goes on! All the books in our boxes are new, stand-alone stories.
'Gristle' by Lily Blakely. 72pp, black and white, perfect-bound. A creeping horror about an isolated, paranoid young woman and a mysterious fleshy plant. Confined to her home, Olive finds a strange pink fungal plant while out on one of her walks. Deciding to bring it back with her, she is increasingly drawn to it, at times comforted by it and at times repulsed. Odd things begin happening… But are they a product of Olive's feverish, building cabin fever, or is something more sinister going on?
'Bun's Comfort Food Corner' by Chu Nap. 48pp, full colour, perfect bound. With step-by-step photo recipes and charming comics, this book is loosely based on Chu's own experiences with food and learning to cook. Let Bun regale you with anecdotes of food mishaps (and successes!) while providing delicious low-maintenance, go-to recipes that can be used regularly.
'Temple' by Jack T Cole. 30pp, full colour, saddle-stitched, with french flap cover. A wolf journeys through lush lands to a magical temple floating in the sky. This largely-wordless comic is a stunning testament to Jack T Cole's artistic prowess, and a moment of nirvana and beautiful escape.
'Moving' by Luis Yang. 36pp, black and white, saddle-stitched. Two women prepare to move house, but as the day dawns and the removal carriers come and go, they find themselves unable to leave. An evocative internal reflection on the things that we hold on to, and the point at which they begin to hold us back.
'I See A Knight' by Xulia Vicente. 40pp, full colour, saddle-stitched with spot-gloss cover. Since childhood, Olivia has been able to see a headless knight invisible to everyone else- is it an omen, a ghost, or something much more real? As she grows older, Olivia becomes accustomed to the knight's presence in her life but knows, too, she must one day finally confront it.