Indie Artist Spotlight and Why You Should Support Them
We have all heard the saying, “why can’t people just make new characters instead of changing old ones”. Artists and writers are making new characters every day, but what are we doing to support them? Last weekend, I attended Anime Weekend Atlanta. While making my way around the Dealer’s Room/Artist Alley, I came across an interesting but familiar site. There were many independent artists and writers sitting around with limited amounts of interested people. Not saying there wasn’t a good number of willing customers (there were plenty). However, I feel there’s more to be done. Here are three indie highlights of Anime Weekend Atlanta.
Beverly Toole is one artist that grabbed my attention. Beverly immediately came off as cheerful and excited about her work. Her positive energy and eye-catching booth is enough to draw you in. Ms. Toole had come to present her work, Katharos: The Shattered World. Katharos is the story of Joe the Courier, a messenger with the gift of locating your most desired item. According to the comic’s Facebook page, the book is “a fantasy adventure of epic proportion – with a few laughs thrown in.”Ms. Toole has a fan in me. Good art, witty dialogue, diverse characters, and a super cool protagonist? Katharos has it all.
This needs to turn into an anime, cartoon, or something or I will have some complaints.
Next up is Battle For Ozellberg from writer/creator Dean Brown and penciller Steve Myers. Ozellberg provides a new twist on the Little Red Riding Hood story. The book centers around Jaana Eberhardt as she tries to prove her worth to her sick grandmother. Things don’t always go as planned, and that’s where the story starts. The cover should be enough to draw you in. If you don’t stay for the art, then you may have missed something good. Trust me when I say, this is not your Disney Red Riding Hood. Its not a book you want to read to your kids at bedtime (unless you’re THAT parent).
Colorist Licca Kirk, inker Jeff Morrow, and Letterer Chris Chandler help tie this work together. Pros for this book: good art, brutal action scenes, interesting female lead, and a balance of light and dark. Cons for the book: I don’t have more of it.
Last but certainly not least is Kamikaze by Alan and Carrie Tupper and Havana Nguyen. Markesha Nin is the star of this book as she tries to find a better life for herself and her father. This post-apocalyptic setting can be unforgiving, especially for risk takers. Guess what that means for Markesha? Yup, dangerous jobs and dangerous people everywhere. Fortunately, there is still some good in the world.
I first came across this book online a while ago, and told myself to finish reading it. However, I lost the page for it and didn’t remember the name. Good thing I happened upon Alan and Carrie at MomoCon 2016. I finally bought the first volume last weekend and have not regretted it.
I am so glad to have this Kamikaze in my hands. There’s nothing like holding a printed comic, especially one you kicked yourself for not buying earlier in the year. Kamikaze features a great female protagonist, diversity, cool futuristic suits that I must cosplay in, and awesome art and writing. Do not sleep on this book.
There were many other great independent artists at Anime Weekend Atlanta that I didn’t get to meet. However, they are out there and need the support. Next time you see or hear someone asking about creating new characters, point them in the right direction. There is so much creative content on the internet that there should be no excuses. Independent artists need audiences. Take a chance with someone new. Its okay to venture outside of the Big Two, or three or whatever. Trust me, I took a chance and I’m glad I did. You might be glad you did, too.
Beverly Toole and Katharos: The Shattered World can be found at http://theshatteredworld.com/ or on deviantArt at http://bevtoole.deviantart.com/. Visit Battle of Ozellberg at http://www.ozellberg.com/. Read more of Kamikaze at http://kamikazeanimated.com/.